Pictured is one of the two Human Trafficking Awareness Month bracelets available through the YWCA. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Pictured is one of the two Human Trafficking Awareness Month bracelets available through the YWCA. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – The Van Wert YWCA has been making preparations the past several months for the local effort to raise funds for the Human Traffic Awareness Month emphasis. Julie Schaufelberger, who is heading up the local effort, said that numerous activities are being planned over the month of January for Human Traffic Awareness.

One of the most popular and effective fundraisers has been the YWCA Glow Bowl 2020 to bring awareness to human trafficking and raise funds for victims served by the YWCA of Van Wert County. This year’s event will be held on Jan. 19 from 1 to 5 p.m at Olympic Lanes.

“Proceeds will benefit YWCA programs which serve victims of human trafficking,” said Schaufelberger.

Schaufelberger said that the evening’s activities would also include “bowling under a black light” and a silent auction, raffles, and door prizes.

A major family viewing during Human Trafficking Awareness Month locally will be the opportunity to view the movie, “Children for Sale, the Fight to End Human Trafficking” at the Van Wert Cinemas on Jan. 26 from noon until 1 p.m. In addition, those who attend the documentary will receive a showing of a 2 p.m. movie for $5.

A press release promoting the trafficking movie notes that the documentary lasts for 45 minutes and is produced by the CNN Freedom Project. In it, the human trafficking problem is revealed in the heart of America.

“Jada Pinkett Smith narrates as the film explores human trafficking in Atlanta while following the law enforcement, trafficking victims and survivor advocates. Brief psychological discussion behind how victims are ‘lured’ into ‘the life’ and the reasons that minors are such a vulnerable demographic to traffickers is analyzed, as well as how we as a society can bring an end to this crime against humanity,” states the news release.

Schaufelberger noted that the YWCA will be promoting “Pound and Pour Rockstars Wanted,” on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at 6 p.m.mat the Elks Lodge in Van Wert.

“Bring your pound posse, release your inner rockstar and benefit victims of human trafficking. All proceeds benefit human trafficking victims at the YWCA,” said Schaufelberger.

One of the most popular fund-raisers over the past several years has been that of promotional bracelets. Schaufelberger noted that many of the bracelets are made by trafficking victims and sold as fund-raisers. She noted that there are two bracelet options available for purchase. They include the new white rubber bracelets and traditional bracelets used each year.

“Bracelets are always common starters for the promotion. Those promoting the fund-raiser can explain the purpose of it all. When people wear these bracelets on their wrists, it gives the opportunity to raise money for the trafficking cause,” said Schaufelberger.