Earlier this month, I noticed a post somewhere about Lora Innes putting together a charity fundraising event—Comic Creators for Freedom—to raise awareness about Human Trafficking with funds going to two organizations—LOVE 146, and GRACEHAVEN (Gracehaven is located in Central Ohio, where I live and where I set the stories of Blink).
Lora writes on the CCFF website:
Human Trafficking is personal to me.
I mentored a young 14 year-old middle school student in the Columbus (Ohio) City School district. One morning on her way to school, two men pulled up to her bus stop, jumped out with a gun and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t get in the car. In the backseat she saw two other teenage girls, with duct tape over their mouths. She told me that at that moment she’d rather die on the sidewalk then be kidnapped and raped, so she took off running. The man with the gun began counting down “3… 2… 1…” as if to shoot her, but neighbors came out when they heard the commotion and the men drove off. She gave extensive information to the police, but so far as I know, they were never caught and the girls in the backseat never rescued.
This is happening all over America and the World. Human Trafficking is essentially a modern term for an old problem–slavery. There are actually more people enslaved today than there were during the historic Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade we hear so much about.
Most of it is children, and most of it is sexual slavery–forced prostitution, and the girls are usually runaways who are taken advantage of or are kidnaped intentionally for this purpose. After an intense weekend of being raped by paying customers (one testimony from a survivor I heard was 30 men in less than as many hours), a girl is broken, and a pimp has power over her to do what he wants. She is sold to the highest bidder and her life is no longer her own, and never, ever the same.
So far Comic Creators for Freedom has raised $15,000! Imagine what we can do this year.
We donate 100% of what we raise to charity. The money is split evenly the between global organization Love 146and Gracehaven, a safe house being built for girls coming out of sexual slavery here in the U.S. It is only the FOURTH such house in the entire United States. So I think what they are trying to do is very important. Read more about both organizations below.
I think all girls deserve the right to grow up healthy and free! And luckily, so do a lot of my friends.
-Lora Innes (The Dreamer)
Lora has organized CCFF with the help of Crystal Yates over the past two years and I’m glad to be one of the over 100 artists participating this year to help raise awareness about this sad situation and raise funds to help these kids. January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day here in the U.S. The CCFF fund drive will run from Monday, January 9th through Friday, January 20th. This year’s theme is “Epic Snowball Fight” and I present to you my entry into the fray: