Thursday, July 30 is ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons’. The event proclaimed by the United Nations serves to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking.
Locally, an event in observance of the day will be taking place on Thursday, July 30 at 401 E. F St., Oakdale in the rear parking lot. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then again from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. To support the cause, people are able to reserve a balloon bundle to raise awareness and have it delivered to their home, or people can drive thru and pick up. All balloon reservations must be completed by Wednesday, July 29 through Jessica Norwood on Instagram @jess.norwood.
The goal of the event is to raise $1,000 for the Without Permission organization out of Modesto. The event will match the donation amount and also donate to the O.U.R. (Operation Underground Railroad). For every $5 cash donation made, donors will be entered into a raffle for a giveaway basket.
Human trafficking is considered a modern day form of slavery. This illegal act involves the use of force, fraud or coercion. Traffickers use violence, manipulation, or false promises to lure their victims into trafficking situations. According to the International Labor Organization, there are over 40 million victims of human trafficking around the world.
“Spreading awareness in our community is much appreciated. We understand times are tough and donations may not be possible at this time. We still encourage everyone to be the light and wear blue on Thursday, July 30 and drive thru to pick up a balloon bundle from us to spread awareness on human trafficking,” encouraged Norwood. “This is a drive-thru fundraiser due to the health pandemic; we want to take all precautions necessary for all.”