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

Human Trafficking Is On the Rise

BY DAVID P. BERNAL, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Human trafficking is now estimated to generate $150 billion in illegal profits annually. That is an increase of 368% since the last reporting in 2009. Human trafficking is constantly evolving, and so is our approach. The problem is bigger than ever before. Understanding the problem is the first step toward becoming the solution.

During the financial crisis between 2007 and 2010, the average U.S. household lost 40% of its wealth. As the economy sputtered and unemployment soared, one global industry was doing better than ever: human trafficking. Having grown from an estimated $32 billion in 2009, it is now a business, generating $150 billion in illegal profits every year. It exists in virtually every country in the world, and unfortunately it is growing here in our back yard.

Hopefully, you care enough about our country and these victims which include an increasing number of children to help us.  Thank you for your consideration.

Ignorance & Want

BY DAVID P. BERNAL, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Ignorance and Want.  These are the enemies that Charles Dickens referenced in his famous Christmas Carole story.

Yet, there is an abundance of both right here within the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Our desire is to combat both, and recruit like-minded individuals.

St. Martin de Porres School is one organization that is combating ignorance and investing in our future leaders.  However, the goal of raising $600,000 for Tuition Assistance by June 30, 2014 is a necessity because their students living in North and West Oakland come from some of the poorest neighborhoods in the Bay Area.  The parents of these students, desire the best education for their children - just like you and I do for ours.

By the grace of God, this is our third year sponsoring the STMDP Soccer Program.  So, I am asking you to search your heart to determine what you can do.  If you cannot donate to either or our project, then at least shop with us to enable us to dedicate our profits to this worthy cause. Thank you.