Mardi reconfirmed that there is trafficking in the San Gabriel Valley and her organization is active making a difference. One function they perform is to help repatriate rescued kids, back into society. Another is to educate kids and families about where the risks are that they may not be thinking about.
“We live in La Canada; I’m an attorney” is not a safety net when kids are at risk from the internet, shopping mall or walking home alone. Marti’s organization partners with other organizations to support a coordinated effort.
One of their partner’s, Journey House supports at-risk kids that have aged out of the Foster system to support them going into and succeeding in college. A new bill recently passed in Sacramento, created by two Journey House alumni, demands Foster youth be informed by e-mail of all the support services available to them to give them a better chance in college. currently of the 8000 college eligible Foster Program alums, 1% graduate.
DIGNITY/FREEDOM BACKPACKS were assembled by our members. They were stuffed with useful items for rescued girls (1% of trafficked kids are boys). Clothes are taken as evidence so the rescued kids have nothing. Our backpacks (we made 50!!) had clothing items of various sizes: flipflops, workout gear (name brands like Nike and Under Armor), and underwear, a blouse, sports bra, leggings, socks and a t-shirt. There was also a bag of toiletries, a coloring/journal/activity book, colored pencils, hairbrush, comfort stuffed toy. We also included some snacks and water.
These backpacks will be distributed to service organizations.