Free the Chained

BY MELANIE BALDAIA

What joys in your life are you grateful for? Have they been given to you or did you have to earn them? Do you recognize the freedom you have to pursue joy in the first place? Imagine something for a minute if you can. Imagine a life where you are forced to work for almost no pay (or no pay at all) in a place where you cannot wear a clean comfortable uniform, you are drugged constantly in order to perform your duties, and if you try to quit your job your family is at risk of being killed. Most of us can’t really wrap our minds around this kind of existence. I hear a lot of people complain about their jobs, but if any of the conditions applied to a typical establishment, this would probably be a national outrage. It exists today however. These are just some of the horrors that real people face in underworld of human trafficking. Human trafficking is proliferating around the globe. Most people probably think they are unaffected by this new kind of slavery, but we cannot completely disconnect ourselves from it. It even occurs in our local communities.Weneed to be the pliers to break the chains of slavery today.

Maybe you have heard about human trafficking in the past. Maybe you think this is just another irrelevant message about an issue you don’t feel you can combat. Many people, whether out of ignorance or apathy, falsely believe that the dark world of human trafficking is somehow beyond their capability to fight.  Here is the truth, you can and should join in the fight against modern slavery. Is it not our responsibility as human beings to look out for one another?

What steps can you take to help those in need? ADVOCATE. Speaking on behalf of the victims worldwide ( a heavy portion of whom are children) is one of the biggest tools that can be used by every day people like you and I. EDUCATE others. More people need to be informed on the horrors of this terrible industry.  COLLABORATE. Use your skills to raise awareness of this problem. All of these things are crucial to ending the torment of the victims in this evil system of slavery. You CAN help! OneBread foundation is showing you the way. You can donate by shopping on Amazon or Groupon from the onebread website. http://one-bread.org

Victims, NOT Prostitutes!

BY DAVID P. BERNAL

It is not unusual for a teen selling sex to deny that she’s working for someone else, even if against her will.  However, that is exactly what’s going on.

Due to the increase in internet sites offering young girls for escort services, among other things, this problem continues to grow.

Here is the bottom line that the community needs to understand:

“People who are having sex with children are not “Johns” and “Tricks”.  They are child rapists and pedophiles, so we should call then what they are.” - Jada Pinkett Smith

Besides the abduction of children (some as young as 8 or 10 years old), there is the luring of teens via the internet by so-called friends or boyfriends expressing interest in the child.  The abductors and pimps are not always the same person, but the result is the same.  A child or teen is forced to have sex against his/her will with strangers for payment.

The pimps in our area are making $35,000 per week! By selling CHILDREN.

So, we are on a mission to educate the public about human trafficking in the United States.  This growing multi-billion-dollar industry is a cancer growing in our society which must be eradicated.  

The assumption has been that the person selling themselves for sex, was doing so of their own accord and free will.  Yet sex with children and teens does not fall into this category.  

What discernment or discretion does a 14 or 16-year-old have, especially with threatened harm to themselves or their loved ones?

Slavery was wrong before the emancipation proclamation, and it is still wrong today.

We are asking our friends, family members and anyone who will listen to help us make an impact on our culture.

As we move forward with this critical mission of Advocating, Educating and Collaborating with others - all we ask is that you lend your support by shopping online from our website and encouraging others to do the same.

Will you help us to rehabilitate these victims today?! Or will you continue to sit on the sidelines while they continue in slavery?

Even at the Super Bowl

BY KAREN ABBRUSCATO

I live fairly close to the Levi Stadium where the Super Bowl 50 was held last month.  There were so many festivities and hype building up to the big game; Super Bowl City was erected, banners were flying and there was jubilation in the air.  I was attending a Super Bowl party when the Blue Angels flew over the house; and a couple minutes later, they were broadcasted flying over the Levi Stadium.  That’s how intimate the game was for us - it was almost as good as being in the stadium.  All in all, it was a very exciting time for the San Francisco Bay Area, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Some people were not so happy to be a part of it.  Unfortunately, wherever there is a convention of masses there is sex trafficking.  An article in the San Jose Mercury News reported 42 suspected victims:  

“The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said its three-week crackdown on human-trafficking centered around the game -- and a contentiously debated uptick in prostitution activity -- netted the identification of 42 suspected victims. The undercover operation, which focused on local online escort ads, also resulted in the arrests or citations of 30 Johns, and 14 arrests or citations for alleged prostitution-related offenses, including the arrest of a 20-year-old Sacramento woman suspected of pimping a 17-year-old girl.”

I have come to accept that sex trafficking is taking place in my neighborhood, as difficult as it is to comprehend.  I just can’t accept why it is happening here, or anywhere for that matter. Greed, corruption and ego are the characteristics that come to mind with respect to both the Pimps and the Johns.  Prayers are needed for these people to find redemption in their lives.  They live with Satan guiding their ways and the only way to stop them is to lock them up in jail or have them find the road to redemption through Jesus Christ.  

While we’re saying our prayers for the evildoers, we need to say a prayer for the victims who have been abused and have lived the life of destruction: they’ve been told they’re worthless and that nobody cares. These youths need to be rescued, they need to hear that God made them and He doesn’t make mistakes. These victims need to be built up to believe in themselves and that is our job.  

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40

Resolute to Reach Out

BY TISZANDRA SEARS 

Resolution: The action of solving a problem; a firm decision to do or not to do something.

As was mentioned in our New Years’ Newsletter – My favorite resolution is to not make a resolution! In the past, New Years has been a month to start something new, to change something in our life, to improve what we find is lacking and/or problematic. When we, within a month, are less than great at meeting our resolution; we cancel all hopes of accomplishing it and walk away. 

What if we did something different! What if we made a resolution to improve on something that we are already doing well? What if – we resolute to improve the situation of someone else’s life? To share what we already have, doing what we already do? 

What if we told you there is a way you can help just by re-routing your normal online shopping trip through our website?  

On One Bread Foundation’s home page we have a unique link to Amazon. Once you click the link to Amazon you can shop amazing deals from Phone Accessories, New Gadgets, E Readers, Baby Needs, Beauty Supplies, and much more. If your normal main resolution is to save money or change your spending habits, Amazon is a good starting point. So why would we route you to our page first? Why wouldn’t we just ask for a donation?

As part of the Amazon Affiliate program every time you click on the Amazon link located on our webpage and purchase something from Amazon, as you normally would – Amazon pays One Bread Foundation a commission. This commission goes 100% back to rehabilitating youth rescued from sex trafficking. 

With one click on our page you would be able to help a child trapped in the horror of sex slavery and trafficking to be rehabilitated back to living a life free and unbound. You would be able to give back to another while saving money, shopping on Amazon. It’s that simple.

So what is your resolution? Mine?! To give back as much as I can in the year to come! Whatever that looks like! 

Value of One Person

By David P. BernaL

“I’m wanting to love them for who they are, where they are, in that moment, whatever that looks like. That is the person I’ve been entrusted with … and I’m called to do something for that person …” —Michele Van Fossen

Michele Van Fossen is not a counselor, a therapist, a pastor, or a priest. Not in the traditional sense of those words. Michele is a hairstylist, and she sees her everyday job as a vehicle for healing the people who sit in her chair.

Pastors do not have a monopoly on ministry. Whatever you do, wherever your work takes you, God has uniquely equipped you to serve and to meet people at their point of need. God has the power to redeem broken hearts and hopeless situations, through your work. You’re probably a lot like Michele. You can probably tell your own story of the sacredness of your work, and the miraculous ways God transforms the ordinary interactions of your day.

These moments of healing and hope that evolve through the course of any regular day? They are no coincidence. We partner with God as we put our hand to the plow—cultivating the ground beneath our feet, literally and figuratively. We carry the image of the Almighty God with us. When we surrender the work of our hands to his miraculous care, God breaks through, changing us, and those we serve, forever, and for good.

Please come join us and help change the world.  Our calling is to Advocate (for those without a voice), Educate (our communities) of the horrors involved with Human Trafficking and Collaborate (with others involved in both the rescue and rehabilitation efforts).   

What is the value of one person’s redeemed life?

Evil In All Ways

by Karen Abbruscato

At One Bread Foundation we strive to raise the awareness of the sex trafficking trade so we are not all turning a blind eye to the horrors of that industry.  Sex trafficking makes slaves out of victims, makes sinners out of the customers and feeds the sickness of greed in the owners.  It is evil in all ways.  

At One Bread Foundation, we want you to know that it is going on around us and that there are ways you can help stop it.  

We need to keep our eyes open and report what we see.   Was there a young teenage girl dressed inappropriately on the street corner, or loitering outside the convention center that could be reported and potentially saved?  Airports, convention centers, and motels are all potential places for us to open our eyes and see more than we want to. 

We need to be impartial when we see a woman or child on the street because we don’t know their story. Many of them are there involuntarily, or they’ve become controlled by an addiction and are there to feed it.  Some were brutally kidnapped, others were run-aways from a bad home situation. Whatever their story is, it needs to be told and we will only hear it once they’re rehabilitated.  

We need to be passionate about saving the victims once they’re rescued. They often don’t have much self worth because it has been stripped of them.  The healing process will be a long one, which requires them learning trust, self worth, and respect of themselves and others. 

Once they’re rescued, many don’t have a place to call home so we need to love them and provide them with education, housing, counseling and a renewed purpose in life.  We need you to help in this area, by supporting One Bread Foundation.  

One Bread Foundation’s first annual fashion show is November 21st at the Oak Park Christian Center in Pleasant Hill, CA.  We hope you will join us in this crucial fundraising event that is 100% in support of rehabilitating children rescued from sex trafficking.   The children, ages 10 – 18, are brought to a safe place where they learn to love themselves and acquire the life skills they need for the new chapter in their life.  

Please join us on Nov 21st; the fashion show will be a beautiful uplifting event where Fashions by Francesca’s will be modeled by our OBF volunteers.  Tea, sandwiches, dessert and coffee will be served to each attendee while entertained by Emcee, Faith Alpher of KKIQ Radio.  

Tickets are available online on our events page or by contacting Kelly Woo, One Bread Foundation, Inc.’s Event Coordinator for details:  kwoo@just-bread.org or (888) 252-5939 Ext. 702. If you’re not able to make it to the event I hope that you can purchase a seat as a donation.  

I look forward to seeing you there.  

Shop, Share, Support

by Tiszandra Sears

Are you tuning in for the first time? Have you had the chance to take a look at the previous blogs and posts from various team members of our One Bread Foundation team? 

Please allow me to catch you up to speed.

One Bread Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose goal is to aid in providing funds to help rehabilitate children saved out of sex trafficking. We are collaborating with New Day for Children to accomplish this mission. We are based in San Francisco Bay, California – and YES the problem that we are speaking of is right here in our back (and front!) yards. We have one very simple plan, to shop with you and raise money! Through the Amazon Affiliate program we are able to bring in a percentage of every order that is placed on Amazon when the shopper clicks on our unique link to Amazon right here on our website. It truly is that simple! All of the profits from this program are donated 100% back to rehabilitating these kids. 

We are just starting out. We are merely just babes in this organization. In such a short time we have already established multiple social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+), partnered with Macy’s for Shop for a Cause; and are currently planning our very first Annual Benefit Fashion Show with Francesca’s. We are branching out each day to be more and more effective, to bring our stories and our work to your inbox, your notification bar, your message screen – EVERYWHERE. Because children are depending on us. They are depending on all of us – to get the word out and to help them. To get them on their feet and off of the streets. 

It is estimated that 76% of sex transactions with young girls starts on the INTERNET. And if you have been on an advertising page on Facebook, you understand that it is starting to get even more blatant.  

“One study determined that minors who are trafficking victims are sold 10 to 15 times a day, six days a week. That means that each victim is "used" 9,360 to 14,040 times a year. Can you imagine the level of trauma that would produce in a child?” (http://www.endslaverytn.org)

We need you! We need our team members and our One Bread family to come behind us and “share” us on social media. To “like” us and “follow” us. We need coverage. If the above statistics, and the previous blogs below doesn’t explain it, maybe an introduction into my past will help.

My name is Tiszandra Sears. I was a victim of sexual molestation and rape from the age of 13 until 18. Multiple occasions I begged for relief and begged for it to stop. I acted out, sometimes inappropriately, waiting for someone to notice. I was threatened that if I said anything that my abuser would not be able to support my family. So, trying to be the hero and allow my siblings to have a good chance at success, I kept my mouth shut and silently begged for someone to notice. I was assaulted right under the nose of my closet family members. With every passing year I learned to hate myself and started to harm myself and contemplate suicide. A young lady that attended a nearby Bible College spoke to my heart one day and reminded me of the hope found in Christ, unknowing of my situation. 

Years continued, I drew closer to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I followed my friend to Bible College and started learning the Word. It was there that I was surrounded with loving support. When everything came out and my family cut all ties with me, I had the support of a hundred prayer warriors and a few close friends that helped financial when all I had was a bed set and some clothes to my name. Because of this support I went on to start a career, get married, start a life with my husband, move across the country of Canada, and start another career. I get to discuss one day having a family. I get to worship side by side with my husband on Sunday morning. I get to experience daily first world comforts including the two homes we currently own and our vehicles, our cats, internet, and the list goes on. 

And all of this, yes through our hard work it is paid for, but through the grace and support I received in my life I was able to get on my feet in order to work hard and grow beyond my past. When two of my dear younger family members came out with their own story of abuse I was able to be their rock and support. I was able to love them the way my past support loved me. They were not alone. I thank the Lord every day and all those that have had a part in my life, who believed in me, and looked past my rough edges. Those who saw more than a broken girl. I could have very well been a statistic, been on the streets, found solace in drugs and alcohol (after all, that is the path set out before me by many folks in my own family), but that is not my story.

And it shouldn’t have to be the story of many children out there. Let’s be that support for them! We may never know their names, but there is One who does. There is One who is able to comfort them. Together we can provide rehabilitation. We can provide stability with the resources available. We can provide public education. However, we cannot provide anything without you. Without someone to shop with us on Amazon, without someone to simply share a Facebook post. 

If I knew, as a 15 year old, that one share on Facebook would bring rescue and rehabilitation from the nightmare I was in, I would have begged you on my knees. There is someone who is begging us, and we do have the resources. Will you help us? 

Shop. Share. Support. It is that easy!

Reclaiming the Lives of Children

BY DAVID P. BERNAL, CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

Sex trafficking of minors remains a dirty secret in the San Francisco Bay Area; however, One Bread Foundation, Inc. and our supporters want to bring it into the light.

California has the weather which is the envy of most of the nation. Hundreds of thousands of new faces visit Northern California each year. We are an exciting vacation and convention destination. Sadly, people coming in to the Bay Area often leave their morals at home, and that makes them buyers of sex.

In the Bay Area dozens of minors are moved each month along networks of human trafficking.  While this information will never appear in our Chamber of Commerce or travel brochures, we are uniquely positioned to become a larger stop on the sex trafficking circuit.

Human Traffickers, who make their money by selling the innocence of children and shattering families, view the greater San Francisco Bay Area as an opportunity to sell bodies in San Francisco, Oakland and the surrounding areas.

Compounding the problem is the fact that human trafficking is a difficult and unpleasant issue to tackle. Many people simply cannot believe that it exists, or that it exists even within our own backyards. It does. Here are a few of the issues surrounding sex trafficking that you may be unaware of:

  • Discrepancies exist in the reporting of incidents, especially when it involves a minor.
  • Young victims of sex trafficking are often entrenched in complicated dependent relationships with their captors, unaware that they’re being forced into prostitution.
  • Legislation involving sex trafficking is ineffective, and intervention work by law enforcement and social services is challenging. Lawmen, government agents, lawmakers and victims’ advocates are working to build their own anti-trafficking network. 
  • Human slavery - once thought to be a thing of the past, now involves adults and children alike.
  • Minor sex trafficking occurs in both suburban and urban communities, wealthy and poor families, and racially diverse communities; but, minors who come from impoverished households may be especially vulnerable to victimization. In short, it can happen to anyone and anywhere.
  • Events that drive tourists to the Bay Area increase reports of trafficking.
  • Some victims are immigrants pressed into service as sex slaves, or youths sometimes lured away from malls and other public areas in the anonymity of a crowd.

The path to wholeness is long and complex. The needs of these victims include, but are not limited to: therapy, addiction treatment, housing and basic life skills.  Not the least of which are education and job skills.

Our goal is to eradicate child sex trafficking through public awareness, partnering with other organizations and law enforcement agencies.

Some escort services now cater to offering children between the ages of 8 and 16.  The very thought should sicken all of us!  

Both the buyers and sellers of child sex must be prosecuted.  Specifically, the solicitation of the rape of a minor, soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means, and trafficking for a commercial sex act – are crimes to be punished. I firmly believe that mandatory sentences should be imposed.

Perhaps, what bothers me most is this is a case of Supply and Demand.  Sex trafficking is growing with the use of new technologies, and the perversion of sex with children can be found online.

We are seeing in some poorer cities or counties a higher rate of sex trafficking.  But, poverty is not the single reason for the rise in sex trafficking – but, it certainly is a driver.

Whenever we talk about human trafficking right here in our own backyards, people typically say, "I had no idea." By increasing awareness, we reduce, bit-by-bit, the freedom traffickers have to operate here.

So, what can you do?  

Host a benefit event, art show, bike ride, walkathon or other awareness/fundraiser to help keep other young people free, or for global anti-slavery work. Be creative!

Some practical suggestions include: contacting your local assembly person, state senator or representative in congress.  You can support our funding of rehabilitation of children rescued from their life of slavery.  And, you can always help spread the word! Helping can be as simple as shopping online starting from our website (http://one-bread.org).


“Freedom for all starts with helping one.”

by Karen Abbruscato, Board PResident

 

Do you wonder why all of a sudden we are hearing about human trafficking?  Three 

years ago, at a Women of Faith conference, I listened to Christine Caine (The A21 

Campaign) speak about human trafficking and what a big problem it is.  I thought to 

myself what a horrible problem it is but I’m glad it’s not happening here in the USA.   

Next I heard about it at the Santa Clara YWCA fundraiser and started seeing 

billboards around California’s Silicon Valley area.  

 

Unfortunately, it’s happening right here in the USA, in California, in the San 

Francisco bay area.  Sex trafficking victims are subjected in homes, airports, hotel 

rooms and some massage parlors. Labor trafficking happens in restaurants, nail 

salons, child-care facilities, and in the construction industry.

 

Many victims of the sex trafficking are teens who don’t have a place to call home.  

They’re part of an unstable child welfare system, they may have come from an 

abusive home, or they aged out of getting support when they turned 18.  When 

they’re on the streets the ‘johns’ find and befriend them.  They are often times 

introduced to addictive drugs, which keeps the kids lured to do whatever it takes to 

get the next fix.  

 

So what can we do about this horrible problem?  We can be aware and supportive of 

the organizations that help these people.  Reducing the number of vulnerable 

victims would start with a look into the child welfare system and how it could be 

more accommodating for all the children who end up in this system.  We can 

provide more research to train first responders, police and attorneys to identify 

victims so they can be rescued from their dire situations.  We can also take care of 

the victims once they’re rescued so they’re not exploited again.  That’s where One 

Bread Foundation, Inc. comes in to action.  We raise funds for the rehabilitation of 

children rescued from sex trafficking in the bay area.  The victims are in need of 

medical and psychological attention as well as housing and education.  When you 

support One Bread Foundation, Inc. by shopping through our link to Amazon, you 

help a child rediscover their childhood.  

 

The problem is overwhelming if you think of the 5000 people, in the San Francisco 

bay area alone, who are victims.  But taking it one person at a time we can achieve 

success.  As the A21 organization so aptly states it, “Freedom for all starts with 

helping one.”  Please visit www.one-bread.com and click on the Amazon link 

whenever you shop Amazon. A portion of your purchase will be donated to help one 

child.

Our Focus Is Ending Human Trafficking

BY TISZANDRA SEARS, NEWSLETTER EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

“Of the detected victims in 2011, 53% were involved in sexual exploitation and 40% in forced labour... Other forms of exploitation have been found such as forced marriage, organ removal, illegal adoption … and child soldiers.”United Nations Information Service.

Men, women, and children are sold into a market for sex and labor averaging $150 billion annually. This takes place on a global and domestic scale; in urban and suburban areas; reaching into hotels, restaurants, and on street corners. Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain. It is tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and the electronics we love. Trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world following the international drug trade.  

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, and deception. Also may include the abuse of power, position of vulnerability, or of the giving / receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of one person having control over another, for the purpose of exploitation. 

As it has been said “No country is immune, and millions of lives are at stake.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Our focus at One Bread Foundation, Inc. (OBF) is simple – to raise and provide funds for children rescued from sex trafficking in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  These funds are utilized specifically for rehabilitation purposes including medical attention, psychological needs, education and housing. 100% of the funds raised through supporters like yourself, shopping through our link to Amazon, goes directly back to this focus and cause. We are using these funds to rehabilitate children who have been rescued from this past of sex-trafficking right here in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. 

Let’s together become more aware of these children’s needs; let’s strive to come together and seek a way to reach out beyond ourselves. Our link is only a small step but an effective one. 

Please bookmark our site – and shop with us the next time you shop online.  

“I have the courage to fail; yet the determination to succeed.” - Tony Kirwan