World Champion San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Affeldt reflected on being able to accomplish his dream — and all the victims of sex trafficking who may never have the opportunity to fulfill theirs. “Trafficking kills that ability,” Affeldt said. “When you take a person and force them to do something, you end their dream. There’s too much fear. It kills that ability to dream. That can’t happen — because I had the ability to dream.” Since 2008, Affeldt has been leading the initiative to help end human trafficking, a $32 billion a year industry, according to U.S. Department of Justice.
But once rescued, the majority of the victims, usually ages 11 to 18, don’t have a safe place to call home. That realization inspired Jenny Williamson to start the nonprofit Courage Worldwide seven years ago. The group builds homes for victims of sex trafficking, providing a safe haven where they can go to begin recovery and healing. The homes provide the children with everything from counseling and medical services to life coaching and art therapy. The group also provides training to law enforcement and first responders so they can spot the signs of sex trafficking.
With influential people such as Affeldt lending their name to the cause, Courage Worldwide moves one step closer to raising awareness about modern-day slavery happening in nearly every city.
“I will not stop. I will get as much media attention as I can,” Affeldt said. “I can use my influence to help end human trafficking. We have to do something. There has to be a movement where someone stands up and says, ‘Enough.’ ”
Learn more at Ramona Giwargis’ Merced Sun Star article: Event sounds alarm on human trafficking.