Speaking the Language

M.O.M.christi's phone 2 (2)
M.O.A.
D.O.A.
L.O.L.

Written by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

Here I am. It’s Thursday. Blog day. Newsletter day. Now Cross Country Meet day. And out to dinner day. Hey, it’s life.

I’m a Mom On a Mission, Mom On Assignment. Dead on Arrival. Laugh Out Loud (or I could be crying).

It’s Just Add Kids birthday. Early October 2009 was JAK’s launch. Lights went on with www.JustAddKidsOnline.net and we went LIVE. The mission of connecting families with kid-oriented, family-friendly activities, events, businesses/organizations was realized.

Along the way and during this tenure, I’ve connected with, joined, participated in so much. I’m humble, but here’s a list of the on-going items:
Racine County Network Providers; Eastern Racine and Western Racine County Networking Breakfasts; Kenosha Turn the Town Blue (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Month Campaign); Focus on Fatherhood Coalition; Evening of Elegance, Day of Dreams, and Wishes in Wonderland Fundraisers benefiting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Make-A-Wish Foundation; Minute To Wish It again benefiting Make-A-Wish; SCAN’s Cones for Kids Fundraiser which led to participating on the Advisory Committee for Lutheran Social Services of WI and Upper MI, Inc.’s Sexual Assault Services (SAS) and the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) programs; short stints on my children’s PTA organization and Horlick Vocal Music Parent Association; I’m certified as a Harwood Community Conversation Facilitator through the United Way of Racine County; put in my year as a provisional and am now a full-fledged member of the Junior League of Racine and serving on the Community Impact committee; I volunteer on the Family and Community Engagement sub-committee of Racine Unified School District Superintendent Advisory Council; and finally, a newbie just trying to figure out my role/contribution to the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT). With all of that said (and please, I am not trying to pat myself or call attention to any accolades), I know I have a more formal role to play in serving our special needs community.

This week, I learned of an event that the aforementioned RCAHT along with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints is presenting: Human Trafficking from a Survivor’s Perspective: A conversation with Marian Hatcher, a human trafficking expert and survivor advocate recently featured in Nickolas Kristofs “A Path Appears” on PBS. In addition to the speaker, there will be a resource fair in which several community agencies will have representatives on site with information on services and how human trafficking victims are supported locally. Yours truly was invited to participate, however, needing to serve our community with a “keeping kids safe” – human trafficking theme. So yeah, as a community member, a mom, I AM TOTALLY interested in pushing my sleeves up to do what I can to eradicate and educate on human sex trafficking especially as it relates to children. I’m HORRIFIED at the reality and enormity of this growing “industry”. But truly, I am NO EXPERT.

That leads me to my assignment….you know, the reference to M.O.A. in hopes that I might have something to offer the fight against human trafficking starting with this blog post. And here I am on deadline with a assignment the is D.O.A.

But, alas! CNN provided me with some great content I can start with as on Monday night they presented a special called “#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens” and good Lord, as a mom of a 13 year old girl and 11 year old boy you know I need to get inside a teen’s head especially when it comes to social media. You may remember me writing in previous posts about my perils of opening up the mobile phone Pandora’s Box with my 11, now 13 year old daughter in: iMom. UChild! iCaved. iRegret. and Dough. Ray. Me! A is for App. Well, wouldn’t you know, my son is of age now  where he “deserves” and “has to” have a phone. It was only a matter of time before he jumped on that bandwagon.

I’m going to become that expert that can share and empower others (parents/children/interested parties) on social media awareness and prowess so as to eradicate the victimization of our community’s children in the human sex trafficking trade.

In the meantime, in order to provide you with some news you can use today, I’m going to borrow a snapshot of this CNN report. Gotta start with the basics, the ABC’s so to speak, the acronyms teens are using:

CNN

Click here or on image above to go to full article.

Finally, I can’t leave you in the dark regarding the upcoming event mentioned above.

RCAHT speaker October 2015Join us on Thursday, Oct 22 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm for a unique opportunity to hear Marian Hatcher speak, a survivor advocate in the fight against human trafficking.

She has been featured on numerous documentaries including “Prostitution: Leaving the Life” on OWN Network and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nickolas Kristof’s “A Path Appears” on PBS. She recently presented at President Carter’s World Summit to End Sexual Exploitation by 2025 and is a special consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She will be speaking about her experience on both sides of human trafficking and answering questions.

A Resource Fair will also be held during the event. Agencies such as Safe Start, Sexual Assault Services, SANE, Crime Stoppers, Child Advocacy Center, Impact 211, SAFE Haven and Faith Hope & Love will have representatives on site with information on services and how human trafficking victims are supported locally.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
What: Resource Fair from 10:30 to noon, Speaker at noon followed by a Q&A.
Where: Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-All Saints St. Luke Campus

Reserve your spot now! Event is limited to 100 attendees so please RSVP as soon as possible by emailing racinecoalition@gmail.com or by calling 262-672-4645.

www.RacineCoalition.org

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