Human trafficking is often a problem that people imagine happening somewhere else — not in their own backyard.
But two organizations are working together to try and change that perspective.
SoWeGa Art Performance, based in Sumner, has partnered with ONEless Ministries for a benefit fundraiser June 28 to bring awareness to this issue.
With recent busts for human trafficking in both Savannah and Atlanta, this issue is not one that happens “somewhere else” anymore.
June’s benefit will provide a concert by the SoWeGa Art students, and educational information on human trafficking and slavery. Leslie Overby, U.S. Operations Director for ONEless Ministries, will be in attendance to help provide some of this information.
“Our main focus for the benefit is to raise awareness about human trafficking and slavery,” said Duckworth, “But we will also provide information on adoption grants, finding homes for orphans, and poverty.”
The event will be hosted by WFXL morning show host Kelly D’Ambrosio and “Days of Our Lives” actress Jen Lilley.
Lilley, whose credits include numerous network show appearances, including spots on “Castle” and “Criminal Minds,” currently plays resident bad girl Theresa Donovan on the NBC soap opera.
Duckworth, a fan of the show, felt drawn to Lilley, and reached out to her management team.
“I can’t explain it, but every time I watched her on screen, I just thought, ‘There is something different about this girl. The way she projected herself and delivered her lines — she just stuck out to me,’ ” Duckworth recalled. “I looked her up on Google and saw all of the charities that she supports — it just seemed like a sign.”
“So, I thought, ‘Why not ask? The worst that can happen is that they will say no.’ “
But that was not the case. Within one day of sending an email to Lilley’s manager with information about the event, Duckworth received an email saying, “Jen said yes! Hope you have a blessed Easter!”
“Lilley and her team have been so nice to work with, and I’m so glad she is going to be a part of it,” Duckworth said.
A raffle will be held at the event for one winner to receive a special meet-and-greet brunch with Lilley, to take place June 29, one day after the event. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to charity.
The concert will take place June 28 at 7 p.m. at the Old Sumner School Building, located at 706 Walnut St. in Sumner. Doors open at 6 p.m., with a preshow at 6:30 p.m.
“The event is free, but we are hoping to raise funds and awareness for this cause.” said Duckworth. “This is an event the whole family can enjoy, and hopefully gain some new perspective on this danger.”
“It’s something that affects everyone, and we need to know how to deal with it.”
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