After Mother Julie, our Provincial Superior saw an article about the International Day Against Human Trafficking, she was reminded about a program that she had planned to do at St. Mary’s Home in Chicago before COVID hit.
There are over 1.3 million missing and runaway children in the U.S. If a child is not recovered within the first 48 hours, the likelihood is high that they will be trafficked. The majority of trafficking occurs in hotels and motels.
The SOAP Project works to fight against Human Trafficking by engaging trained volunteers to offer bars of soap free-of-charge to motels, along with training to be able to identify and report human trafficking when they see it in their establishments. These soaps have labels with information that victims of human trafficking can use to seek help.
Groups like our Home can help by purchasing cases of soap, labeling them and delivering them to a local SOAP Project drop-off facility.
Mother Julie felt that this would be a good opportunity for our Homes (Sisters, Residents, employees, AJJ, etc.) to share in the fight against human trafficking.
Cindy Deluca, our Volunteer Coordinator, went to work organizing. First, she planned a monthly raffle, featuring beautiful themed baskets to raise the $200 needed to purchase a box of soap and labels. Next, she organized a group of Residents, staff, volunteers and family members to gather and label the soap. Finally, she arranged to have the soaps delivered to the Felician Convent in Chicago, which is our local drop-off facility.
We are often the recipients of generous people who help us. It is a joy and privilege for us to be able to help others, through this program.