Wooden crates. Bound wrists and ankles. Conversations behind grocery stores and loading docks. This is what comes to mind for most people when they think of human trafficking. Films like Taken have misconstrued systemic subtleties into cultural stereotypes, and nowadays, we live in our communities totally unaware of human trafficking’s local presence.
That’s why Switch, an organization dedicated to obliterating the injustice of sexual exploitation, is hosting their third annual Freedom Gala at the Embassy Suites in Greenville on November 16. With a legacy of hosting over 400 people in attendance, Switch’s fall function is one of the ministry’s most successful fundraisers.
The night features a silent auction, a three-course meal, entertainment, and returning keynote speaker, Rebecca Bender. Bender is a well-known activator who has trained medical professionals, former presidents, Homeland Security, prosecutors, and more. Using research and excerpts from her personal experience in human trafficking, Bender’s testimony challenged preconceived notions about the women manipulated into such circumstances. Without a doubt, Bender is likely to bring fresh empathy and conviction to this year’s Gala.
While Switch’s events are always open to the public, its leaders are dedicated to honoring the Lord with its mission and praise. “Our faith is what called us, drives us, sustains us, and leads us in all things,” Executive Director Zaina Greene said. “We are just the hands and feet, and [we] love to watch Him chase after those we serve.”
Since their establishment in 2012, Switch has served over 115 individuals in their roads to recovery. The ministry has educated over 20,000 community members, held over 100 intervention events, and trained over 45 local agencies on human trafficking indicators.
Interwoven within its mission, Switch focuses on five supporting programs: awareness—identifying human trafficking signs and appropriate responses; prevention—providing education to youth on traffickers’ tactics and subsequent safety measures; demand—ending pornography and sex addiction by empowering male volunteers to speak to men’s groups; intervention—interceding in the commercial sex industry to build rapport and supply safe havens; and restoration—partnering with victims to build empowering new futures.
Such efforts, however, demand careful attention and necessary financial provision. This is why Switch invites us to participate in their ministerial efforts through purchasing a Freedom Gala ticket, available on their website. “Every one of you has a place in this fight,” Greene said to all 400 guests in attendance at last year’s fundraiser. “Financially, you all can partner with Switch.”
Support of the ministry’s efforts can also be provided through the purchase of Switch products. Visit the Kingdom Winds Marketplace to learn more.
Featured Image by Jaycek Dylag