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Back in January, we had created a message for 2020 – “New Vision, New Beginning. “Engage and educate people by giving them 20/20 sight – so that Human Trafficking would no longer be “Hidden in Plain sight.”

We promoted in January, Human Trafficking Month, “Blind Eyes Opened – a movie thatpremiered in specific movie houses to help educate people to know that this is nota problem abroad, but in the United States – in our own backyards.

It is now May. We all have experienced a new vision – a different way of life andsome have said “a new normal.” I’m praying for a “Better normal.” Corona Virus orCOVID 19 has changed our way of life here and around the world. Who would ever imaginethat this global crisis would have impacted our lives in a matter of months. Morethan ever, EnJewel needs you. Human trafficking has escalated to new heights. Manyhave asked on how COVID19 has impacted the human trafficking landscape. What makeschildren and adults vulnerable to human trafficking in the first place: economicconditions, unstable living conditions and even drug abuse.

  • If you think about it, children are at home doing on-line classes now instead of being in school. Who is home with the kids? Are they unsupervised?
  • Are they on the phone, iPad, gaming? Kids and adults are turning to their devices more than ever. If you heard me speak before, you know that technology is a world wide necessity but also if not used safely can be of harm as well. Knowing the proper use of settings and reviewing games and apps that your children are using – is all very important to prevent unwanted predators in your home space through technology.

EnJewel is also concerned with our community, which is heavy military and has acommunity of many diverse backgrounds. Hampton Roads, as in other cities, is a fabricof many immigrant communities.

  • Where there is much concern is for those who may be undocumented. Immigration status is a hot button used by traffickers as a way to keep children and adults under their control. There is a “Climate of fear” that has people even less likely than before to come forward to seek help.

EnJewel is concerned with homelessness as another key vulnerability for trafficking.

  • School kids would normally get at least 1-2 meals from school, but now that they are at home. How are kids being fed?
  • Unemployment is on the rise, these are factors where traffickers are lingering to help with a possible answer.

EnJewel will continue to share as we learn more about the landscape. Part of the problem is not having enough education. If we can help give awareness, it may be the one thing that can help protect you and your loved ones.

A great shout out to our EnJewel Volunteers and Donors!

I do want you to know that our EnJewel volunteers have been out tirelessly to makea difference even in these challenging times. The month of March was scouting forspecific donations such as bedroom furniture and even a kitchen sink. We also placeda request for welcome baskets – filling laundry baskets with basic necessities suchas pajamas, robes, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, bath soap, shampooand conditioner, bible, devotionals and a personal journal. In the month of April,we were given insight that a rescued survivor entered The Butterfly House, our collaborativepartner. We also learned several others will be coming into the home from searchand rescue teams by end of May. What we prayed for was answered – your donationshave helped bring to reality – a restorative home for survivors.

Our goal, this year, is to continue to build education programs– we will never beable to eradicate this problem in our lifetime – but we surely can help preventit – by educating, empowering and engaging our community to know what is happeningin their own backyard. We will focus on collaborating with partners to provide on-lineand group programs with specific areas such as teachers, nurses/medical, real estateagents, businesses, truckers, maritime/travel communities. We will continue withtrain the trainer programs, peer-to peer trainings and speaking engagements to schools,churches, boys and girls scouts, social and civic groups such as Rotary, Lions,Kiwanis, BNI and others.

But our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for 2020 is to bring to our community ahome for minors. There is not one home for minors in the State of Virginia. We needto change this. It is my hope that you will join me in making this a reality. Sothat I can help you envision this – we will call this home, “Amazing Grace.” I knowyou think that’s a beautiful name – several have already shared that with me – butwhat would be more beautiful is that we have this home for minors – because somechild is praying that they will be rescued soon. We need a home for them – soon.We will keep you posted as this movement takes place.

As you see, you and I, together, can make a difference – with a “New Vision.”

But we need your help, more so , in times of Corona. We need to protect our childrenand grandchildren. I hope that you will join us in our fight to making a differencein our own backyard. The EnJewel team would be humbled and so grateful for yoursupport.

Be Blessed, be safe –