Love146, an international organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation, is hosting its 10th anniversary gala on Thursday, September 20th at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
The Red Carpet entry begins at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m. The evening's special guests include: Grammy-Award Winning Musician Vince Gill, Actress Carrie Preston, TV Host Amanda Byram, Michelle Mais from the hit Broadway Show, Rock of Ages, Spoken Word Poet Tarishi Shurer, and Brooke Anderson Co-Host of the Insider.
During the gala, Love146 will introduce new anti-trafficking initiatives that include prevention education in U.S. classrooms and survivor care for U.S. children.
"We're incredibly excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary with friends, family and advocates," says Steve Martin, CEO of Love146. "But more than that, this night begins a new season of helping even more children. During the next few years Love 146 will expand its prevention education program to more students in more classrooms and, for the first time, we'll offer direct services to survivors of child trafficking and exploitation within the United States."
In 2002, co-founders Rob Morris, Lamont Hiebert, Desirea Rodgers and Caroline Hahm went on an exploratory trip to Southeast Asia to determine how best to combat the issue of child sex trafficking. In Asian brothels, they saw young children sold for sex.
"We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass," said President and Co-Founder Rob Morris. "All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl. We have taken her number so that we remember why this all started."
From that first trip, their mission became clear - to work toward the abolition of child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and aftercare.
After spending several years launching successful programs in Asia, the organization has decided to turn their attention towards protecting children in the U.S. To that end, Love146 has worked hard to educate over 4,000 children in schools and group homes all across the country.
To learn more about Love146's 10th anniversary event, visit: www.love146.org