Andrew Van Asselt was on his first missionary trip in Tijuana, Mexico. They started the operation in the Red Light district. At every block of Tijuana there were girls and women age 16 to 50 standing every three feet. “It was a culture shock and opened my eyes,” Van Asselt said. “I can’t believe there is a world like this.”
Van Asselt grew up in Eugene’s Cal Young neighborhood. He left for college at the University of Nations in Los Angeles. He worked for a missionary and trained with the Los Angeles Police Department. Besides his enthusiasm for bringing awareness to human trafficking, he discovered his love for fashion. Being a well-dressed man himself, he enjoyed his life in Los Angeles and all the fashion shows he went to.
So Van Asselt put his two passions together and built a company – Coalition for Justice apparel – that will change lives. Through selling his own hand-made clothing and putting on fashion shows, he is determined to bring awareness and keep women, men and children out of human trafficking and raise money for safe houses.
Van Asselt’s cause is not just human trafficking. His recent line, “Dare to Dream” goes toward helping families in Kenya, Africa, and teaching them how to start and maintain a business. The end result is to have that family raise enough money to adopt a child in their community.
For every item Coalition for Justice sells, some of the money goes toward helping someone in need. Right now, 40 percent of his proceeds go to a safe house in Springfield called Hope Ranch Ministries, which provides safety and healing for the survivors of human trafficking.
“I want to teach the women who come to the safe house how to sew dresses,” Van Asselt says with excitement. “Then I want to use dresses to sell in my stores. Every dress will have a story behind it.”
Learn more at Kristina Pham-Loo’s Daily Emerald article: Andrew Van Asselt uses fashion to fight against human trafficking.