When the youth group at First United Methodist Church in Noblesville, Indiana, learned the statistics about human trafficking in the United States and other countries, they were astounded. They decided to get their church involved in fighting trafficking.
In February 2015, they offered presentations on human trafficking for church members and the community. On Dec. 6, a new outreach emerged for the church as the United Methodist Women Esther Circle and the youth hosted Freedom Party for the community.
People attending the event could purchase jewelry, purses, mittens, scarves, bags and food items made by survivors of human trafficking. "Women and children are the primary victims, and that's why UMW got involved," said Brooke Crum, chair of the Esther Circle. "A lot of people are forced to sell children because they don't have money, but (this type of event) gives them an opportunity to make and sell their items." Crum said sales proceeds go back to the organizations that sell them, and the women and children benefit.
The free event also featured two 15-minute presentations to educate attendees about how human trafficking affects people around the world. The youth modeled the clothing and accessories in a fashion show. The refreshments featured cookies made with fair-trade chocolate.
The UMW and youth plan to host Freedom Party again in 2016. "We want to help those who can't help themselves," she said.
AT A GLANCE First United Methodist Church | 2051 Monument St., Noblesville, IN, 46060 | 317-773-2500 | [email protected] | www.noblesvillefirst.com | Lead pastor: Rev. Jerry Rairdon | Average Attendance: 621 | Indiana Conference