Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Week Seven Update
Taken from
My definition of freedom is deeper than most.  For so long my freedom was nonexistent.  My every move was watched, my every conversation was observed.  My clothing and food portions and options were at the mercy of another.  Living in fear and terror, I had no ability to make or understand decisions and my physical self seemed to belong to everyone but me.

- Withelma "T" Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, Human Trafficking Survivor, as quoted in the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report

Today Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Trafficking in Persons report.  I have only skimmed a couple sections.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It is hard for me to grasp the magnitude of slavery we face more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  If the hardcore abolitionists of the 1800s couldn't wipe this out, I feel altogether incapable.

In remarks at the release of the report, Mr. Kerry said that abolitionist efforts can seem daunting.  They most certainly are.  He followed up that statement with this one: But it's the right effort.  Though I sometimes feel overwhelmed by human trafficking, and altogether sickened by child trafficking, I whole heartedly agree.

And I am encouraged by friends, family and co-workers who stand on the side of freedom, too. 

For the previous weeks that I secretly worried that I was doing Tread on Trafficking mostly alone, I have been overcome with an unbelievable outpouring of support this week.  People have stepped up in amazing ways -- with their feet, with their words and with their finances.

With each step taken by someone else, with each dollar donated and with each word of encouragement I was reminded just how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

Thank you all for all you've done so far.  We have 11 more days to finish this strong.  I've set a new stepping goal of a combined one million steps.  You've already walked more than 200,000 steps alongside me and we have less than 300,000 steps to finish that new goal.  I'll do more than 100,000 of those myself -- you all please join me in the other 200,000.

$575 in donations poured in this week.  Amazing.  I am only $375 from reaching my original fundraising goal.  As I said on the very first day -- I am open to blowing that goal. Out. Of. The. Water.



This fundraiser benefits You may donate at . If you can't donate, you can still 'like' and share my page on Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more about modern-day slavery here.

Why 10,146 steps? In honor of the girl who wore number 146 .