Written by Plant With Purpose on September 10, 2009 in General
by Kate McElhinney
I first heard about the organization Love 146 through my church, Coast Vineyard. About a year ago, the assistant pastor made an announcement that a few people who wanted to start a coalition for this nonprofit here in San Diego would be meeting after the service. Anyone who was interested could join them for a brief meeting out on the designated benches. I considered attending this meeting, but decided that I was too busy that day.
Over the next few months, I was surprised to see how the ministry had grown. It kept popping up in conversations, or meetings would be announced in the church bulletin. A couple from my home group, Rob and Kelly Lower, became actively involved. They would eagerly tell us each week about upcoming events. Last spring, they helped organize a rummage sale and a dance to raise money to help support prevention programs and relief work for children who have been victims of sex trafficking.
Now, just yesterday, Rob and Kelly told me that they will be stepping into more of a leadership position by becoming the point of contact for the San Diego region. They are busy planning various fundraising events, such as a gala, for the upcoming year. The coalition has surprisingly boomed over the last year as word has spread about Love 146 and their important message.
Love 146 works to abolish child sex slavery and exploitation. Every year at least 1 million children are estimated to be trafficked around the world, mainly in the Asian region, Europe, Africa, and yes, sadly the United States. They are forced to work in dangerous conditions with little or no pay, and are often subjected to beatings or rape, and suffer from serious physical and psychological damage.
By training aftercare workers, multiplying safe homes, and providing therapy, Love 146 works to provide tools and support for victims so they can transition back into their communities. The organization also protects children by developing and sustaining targeted prevention projects in high risk communities while defending the rights of the vulnerable through advocacy.
I am surprised with how quickly word has spread about Love 146 over the past year. Even though it might not be direct, I like to think that my work with Plant With Purpose helps this organization. As a result of deforestation, poor families are forced to migrate into slums, making them and their children more susceptible to traffickers. By providing environmental solutions to humanitarian problems, Plant With Purpose focuses on the root issues of poverty, thus helping the organizations who work to defend people on the other end.
If you would like to get involved with Love 146 or if you are interested in finding out more about coalitions in your area, visit www.love146.org. Or, feel free to contact me if you’re in San Diego and I can pass your message on to Rob and Kelly.