If you've read my previous post about my first time volunteering for Rescue Her last month, you would be aware of this thing that we do called Soap Outreach. It's basically a new form of outreach that Rescue Her does involving soaps, stickers, motels, and cookies. So how does it work?
We visit motels in low-income areas (because unlike hotels, motels give traffickers the ability to pay in cash and even by the hour, so it's easier for them to avoid detection), meet the managers/owners, introduce ourselves and our cause, then help them fight human trafficking alongside us by giving away free soaps! Not just any soap, but premium quality bar soaps with national anti-human trafficking hotline number labeled on them.
We also give them stickers to put on the check-in counter and bathroom mirrors, because who knows, a girl in need might see it and get help asap. This outreach sounds so simple yet the impact could be really powerful and life-changing for these girls. It could help them change their future! And because we do this out of love, we can't forget to give a bag of cookies to each motel manager/owner (even the vegan ones!).
And, we also bring goodie bags filled with beauty products to give to girls that we might find at the motels. Again, we just want to love on them and hopefully let them know that they are beautiful and loved. And to me, this has been a lifelong goal. I am really passionate about letting young girls know that they are loved and beautiful just the way they are.
But the thing is, even though last Friday was my second time volunteering, I still didn't feel comfortable enough to talk, so I stayed in the car most of the time, taking photos and all (which is good for documentation, but still..). Why did I hesitate to go out and talk to motel owners? Because I don't speak a perfect English, and I worried that if I got nervous or excited, I would stutter. This was a ridiculous concern of course, because most of the motel owners don't even speak good English! And on my way home, I was reminded of what Rev. Samuel Rodriguez once said "God is not looking for those who have everything, but those who are willing to give up everything." I don't have to have all the skills, I just have to be willing. Darn, I wish I would've had more courage!
Anyways, my fellow volunteers here, Caren and Noah, did great. Karen is actually a 'veteran', she's done outreach stuff for years, so she knew what to do. Oh, back to the matter of speaking English, sadly, my excuse was the very excuse that many motel owners used to get rid of us. A few of them immediately pretended to be confused or not able to speak English, as soon as we started telling them about our cause.
The second most popular excuse that they used to get rid of us was "the manager is not here" - scenario. Ugh, come on people. Really? Well, maybe they were just too scared to get involved with anything that would threaten their income, I don't know. One of them even turned lights off and just shook her head without even bothering to listen to us. Ouch.
But not every visit went in vain! In fact most of the motels that we visited said yes to the soaps, stickers, and of course the cookies. This guy in the picture above even asked for prayer and gave a hug at the end! So overall, it was a successful night!
Now if you live in DFW and are thinking to get involved, you can donate to Rescue Her or sign up as a volunteer at Rescue Her website. Once you're through with the volunteer application process, you'll start receiving emails about the upcoming events and volunteering opportunities, Soap outreach being one of them (they're planning to do this every month). Reply the email to confirm your attendance. And, on an assigned Friday night, show up on time for the briefing!
At this month's outreach, Brad Carignan was the one in charge to lead us because his wife and the founder of Rescue Her, Josie couldn't be there with us. He split us into two groups, I went with him, Noah, and these awesome ladies, Hayley, Ashley, and Caren.
Ashley reading the map and writing reports. Yes, you can take turns and stay in the car to write reports while the others talk to the motel owners. Next time, I will make efforts to go and talk to those motel owners/managers. While they're using language barrier as an excuse to ignore the fact that there are 100,000 girls being trafficked in the U.S every year (source : Rescue Her), I will ignore the fact I've still got language barrier to help them realize this sad statistic. Wish me luck! ;)