8 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking in San Diego.

Rachel Thompson of the Junior League San Diego introduces District Attorney Summer Stephan during the Fifth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally.
Rachel Thompson of the Junior League San Diego introduces District Attorney Summer Stephan during the Fifth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally.

Today I walked up to Balboa Park to experience the 5th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally. The event was organized by the Junior League of San Diego, and brought together most of the key players in San Diego’s fight against human trafficking.

While legislative progress has been made in the fight, the terrible problem of human trafficking persists. I learned San Diego sees far too much of this type of crime because of our city’s proximity to the Mexican border and its status as a popular tourist destination.

Many tables were set up at the event containing literature about how concerned citizens can take action. Everyone was encouraged to spread the word and increase awareness and involvement throughout the community.

I thought my blog could possibly provide a bit of help. Here are eight things that you can do to learn about and fight against human trafficking in San Diego:

1. Learn how to recognize victims of human trafficking. The following three photos contain vital information that you can use and share.

A flyer from the Office for Victims of Crime provides key information on human trafficking, including warning signs. (Please click this image to enlarge for easy reading.)
A flyer from the Office for Victims of Crime provides key information on human trafficking, including warning signs. (Please click this image to enlarge for easy reading.)
Information from Homeland Security's Blue Campaign explains the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.
Information from Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign explains the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.
A checklist of human trafficking indicators. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
A checklist of human trafficking indicators. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

2. Support the Alabaster Jar Project. This organization empowers survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. They provide a safe living environment and transitional housing, plus an array of support services and educational opportunities. Located in San Diego’s North County.

3. Become involved with CAT, or Churches Against Trafficking, a network of churches in San Diego that together provide service, resources and prayer to help solve a difficult problem in our community.

Churches Against Trafficking is a network of churches that provide service, resources and prayer in San Diego against human trafficking.
Churches Against Trafficking is a network of churches that have joined together to provide service, resources and prayer in San Diego against human trafficking.

4. Support the Lynch Foundation For Children. They are working to prevent human trafficking through education. They also assist in locating and recovering runaway children, and support victims’ services.

5. Learn about and possibly volunteer with the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC), an alliance of government and nonprofit agencies in the United States and Latin America convened along the U.S.-Mexico Border Region to combat slavery and human trafficking. Their 24-hour Emergency Trafficking Hotline is 619-666-2757. The hotline serves victims of trafficking, community clinics and doctors, social service agencies, concerned citizens and law enforcement personnel.

6. Visit the Sex Trafficking Resource Center page of the San Diego Public Library website and learn more facts about this difficult but very important subject. The web page includes a variety of resources, including helpful links specifically for youth.

7. Visit the San Diego District Attorney’s human trafficking online page. It’s a resource that contains a good deal of vital information, including Signs of Human Trafficking, What You Can Do, Community Resources and Safety Tips.

The FBI had literature available concerning human trafficking. The phone number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 1-888-373-7888.
During the event, the FBI offered literature concerning human trafficking. The phone number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 1-888-373-7888.
Can you see her? It's time to open our eyes. Victims of the sex trade, domestic servitude, and forced labor have been invisible, until now.
Can you see her? It’s time to open our eyes. Victims of the sex trade, domestic servitude, and forced labor have been invisible, until now.

8. Check out these other local shelters and organizations. They need mentors, volunteers and resources:

Children of the Immaculate Heart

Generate Hope

Mary’s Guest House

North County Lifeline

PLNU Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund

Shining Stars

Salvation Army’s Door of Hope

San Diego Youth Services

These citizens are working to stop human trafficking. Will you join them?
These citizens are working to stop human trafficking. Will you join them?

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Holiday food drive in Hillcrest to help special kids.

Aseltine School's 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 530 pm to 730 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.
Aseltine School’s 2017 Holiday Food Drive takes place Wednesday, December 6, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest.

If you’re in San Diego, please consider participating in the Aseltine School’s 4th Annual Holiday Food Drive. It will be taking place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest, which is located at 1236 University Avenue.

Bring non-perishable food items such as peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soup and pasta. The food you bring will support students and families in need.

Aseltine School is a supportive, positive place where K-12 students are helped to overcome a variety of difficulties. Their innovative program transforms young lives. Learn more at Aseltine’s website.

Your generosity will be greeted with lots of big smiles!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Remember Me Thursday love in Balboa Park.

A best friend.
A best friend.

Every year, the lives of almost 3 million shelter animals are terminated. It’s a colossal, heartbreaking tragedy that defies understanding–because it needn’t happen. Remember Me Thursday is a global event that shines a light on the plight of shelter animals, and on the positive choice of animal adoption.

Here are a few photos from the special Remember Me Thursday candlelight vigil held this evening in Balboa Park. Those who participated gathered near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street. The annual event was created five years ago by Mike Arms, President and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Remember Me Thursday has spread worldwide and now hundreds of animal welfare organizations participate.

This evening in Balboa Park, hearts were lit for innocent animals in San Diego and around the world waiting for adoption. Like you, they simply want to live and be loved.

Smiles from the Helen Woodward Animal Center during Remember Me Thursday in Balboa Park.
Smiles from the Helen Woodward Animal Center during Remember Me Thursday in Balboa Park.
People gather to remember animals waiting in shelters to be adopted--and those who lost their lives.
People gather to remember animals waiting in shelters to be adopted–and those who have lost their lives.
The deeply touching Remember Me Thursday poem by Mike Arms.
The deeply touching Remember Me Thursday poem by Mike Arms.
A gathering in Balboa Park and an urgent message. Millions of shelter animals around the world simply want to live and be loved.
A gathering in Balboa Park and an urgent message. Millions of shelter animals around the world simply want to live and be loved.
A banner invites messages of hope and love.
A banner invites messages of hope and gratitude.
A wish that pets know the selfless love that they provide us while on Earth.
A wish that pets know the selfless love that they provide us while on Earth.
A few loving words for the best hamster a boy could ever have.
A few powerful words for the best hamster a boy could ever have.
As the sun sets, people wait to watch a moving video and hear the reading of Mike Arms' poem.
As the sun sets, people wait to watch a thought-provoking video and hear the reading of Mike Arms’ poem.
Many candles were then lit.
Many candles were then lit.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Support the House of Puerto Rico disaster relief effort.

Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico's lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.
Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico’s lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.

Here’s an opportunity to help the people of Puerto Rico who’ve been thrown into a terrible crisis by Hurricane Maria. The devastation brought by this natural disaster is unprecedented. Every bit of help is vitally important.

By sheer coincidence, the House of Puerto Rico had their International Cottages lawn program today in Balboa Park. A collection jar was there for donations, and proceeds from food sales went to hurricane relief.

I also learned that there’s a donation button on the House of Puerto Rico website, which you’ll find here.

Please consider providing these good people with a bit of support.

Puerto Rican food at the special event included Arroz con Gandules, Pastel de Masa and Alcapurrias.
Puerto Rican food at the special event included arroz con gandules, pastel de masa and alcapurrias.
If you missed the event, click the link I've included to visit the Hurricane Maria donation page.
If you missed the event, click the link I’ve included to visit the House of Puerto Rico website. There you will see a Hurricane Maria donation button.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Support Veterans Village with a brick or paver.

Order a Veterans Village courtyard brick or paver and help Veterans who have been homeless, or at the risk of homelessness. Provide hope, love, compassion and understanding.
Order a Veterans Village courtyard brick or paver and help Veterans who are homeless, or at the risk of homelessness. Your donation provides real hope. The words you choose radiate compassion and understanding.

Veterans Village of San Diego provides a helping hand to those Veterans in our city who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness. This critically important organization provide housing, rehabilitation, education, job training and a safe place to regain hope and a sense of belonging.

Veterans Village also organizes the annual Stand Down, where homeless Veterans can receive a smile, a handshake, breakfast, clothing, showers, a hair cut, makeovers, plus free medical, dental and vision services. At Stand Down homeless Vets can also access court services, VA benefit and job counseling, and much more.

You can support the mission of Veterans Village by putting a special message on a brick or paver in their beautiful courtyard location. Messages of support, compassion and love will be read by many who might need a little inspiration. Your generosity makes the world better.

To learn more about Veterans Village, or if you have a question about purchasing a brick or paver, click here!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

15 Unique Volunteering Opportunities in San Diego.

As a member of Bloggers Lifting Others Generously, I sometimes blog about those who are working to make San Diego a better place.

Here are 15 different community organizations that could use volunteers. Many of them welcome volunteers with no specific background or experience.

Click the following links to past blog posts where you can learn more:

Volunteers needed at San Diego Habitat for Humanity!

There are many different volunteer opportunities–it’s more than just building houses. No experience required!

How to get support from fellow Veterans in San Diego.

This local organization is looking for compassionate Veteran mentors who would like help others.

Guide dogs for the blind in San Diego!

If you’d like to raise a guide dog, here’s a great opportunity!

How you might save the life of a cancer patient!

Join the bone marrow registry, or donate your baby’s cord blood.

How to help special education kids in San Diego!

This school that helps special kids could always use special volunteers!

Photos from Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup Day!

Participate in a San Diego beach cleanup! It’s a lot of fun!

A San Diego gift that will last forever.

The Friends of Balboa Park needs all sorts of different volunteers! Follow the link to their website where you can learn much more.

How to help keep the San Diego River healthy.

The San Diego River Park Foundation has many different volunteering opportunities, including river cleanups.

Volunteer to help restore San Diego wetlands!

Offer your helping hand to the San Diego Audubon Society’s worthy projects!

Free books for teachers, schools, hospitals and prisons.

Volunteer for an organization whose goal is to promote literacy.

The Salvation Army celebrates service in San Diego.

Everyone has heard of the Salvation Army. Why not volunteer?

How you can help beat leukemia and blood cancers!

Create a fundraiser. Help save lives!

San Diego Marines collect Toys for Tots!

Have your San Diego business become a drop-off location for toys!

Foster homes needed for loving San Diego cats!

Open your heart and home to a rescue animal!

Glean Queens of San Diego need your help!

Pick fruit and help distribute food that would otherwise go wasted.

If you’d like to help homeless people in San Diego get back on their feet, I’ve compiled 20 Ways to Help the Homeless in San Diego. Check it out!

Have a great day!

Richard

Volunteers needed at San Diego Habitat for Humanity!

San Diego Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers, in neighborhoods all around San Diego.
San Diego Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers, in neighborhoods all around San Diego.

During my visit to the Imperial Avenue Street Festival, I checked out the San Diego Habitat for Humanity table. And I learned volunteers are needed for a variety of possible activities around San Diego.

One can work at their ReStore home improvement retail warehouses in Escondido, Mission Valley or National City. Or one can help build new homes. Or one can participate in neighborhood revitalization projects.

A flyer that I read explains how Habitat for Humanity provides repair services to homeowners in Logan Heights! I took a photo! (I also see the website address on the flyer pictured above is incorrect. Use my link below.)

No experience necessary! Click here to learn more!

San Diego Habitat for Humanity provides repair services to homeowners in Logan Heights!
San Diego Habitat for Humanity provides repair services to homeowners in Logan Heights!
Volunteers for San Diego Habitat for Humanity are all smiles!
Volunteers for San Diego Habitat for Humanity are all smiles!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.