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FOREVER FOUND: Artists Create Change for Sexually Exploited Children
It’s hard to imagine, but did you know that young girls are being sold to sex traffickers for less than twenty dollars? Worse yet, in some cases, by their own mothers or family members. These girls (and boys) are then forced into prostitution by the traffickers. Forced to have their little bodies used and abused as sex slaves. And not only are they physically and sexually abused, but their minds and emotions become enslaved and ravaged by unthinkable pain, fear and shame.
Forever Found is a non-profit organization born out of that reality and supports safehomes for sexually exploited and trafficked children. While on a heartwrenching trip to Thailand, founders Shannon and Taylor Sergey saw the devastation child prostitution and trafficking caused up close, put a stake in the ground, and chose to make it personal.
Forever Found exists to support the rescue and restoration of victims of child trafficking and prostitution through:
Locally based awareness efforts and events
Child sponsorship programs
Recruitment, development and promotion of artists willing to donate part or all of their proceeds to help rescue a child
Forever Found partners with artists to raise awareness and support for rescue organizations, aftercare and safehomes in the U.S. and abroad including Streetlight PHX, F.A.C.E.S.S., International Crisis Aid, and Life Impact International.
As an artist and advocate, I’m a true believer in creative advocacy. I love that Forever Found bands together with artists who are catalysts in creating change. Forever Found collaborates with musicians, writers, painters, photographers, designers, actors, and other artists to bring justice, freedom and restoration for sexually exploited children.
Art and music bring people together in a unique way that crosses man-made barriers and touching all of humanity. On top of that, 100% of money received from artist partners goes directly to the rescue homes they support!
"Immeasurably More" Album by Shannon Sergey
Shannon Sergey’s album Immeasurably More is described as an eclectic album full of passion and beautiful instrumentation fueled by talented musicians who donated their time to support victims of child trafficking. The track “Daddy” is about a child she met who was rescued from child prostitution. Shannon has also written an autobiographical book called, Something Beautiful: The Story of Us–a book about directing love, heartbreak and passion. Other artists share their creative advocacy and proceeds through music, leather wrist bands and even hand crocheted baby blankets!
Aftercare homes provide safe and sane environments for rescued children as young as 4 years old. They provide shelter, food, medical care, education, skill and vocational training, along with emotional and spiritual counseling. Above all, safehomes provide the opportunity for a fear and abuse-free life, providing child victims a chance to heal and to find a path to living the lives they were destined for.
Maybe you’re an artist, or know someone who would love to share their talent in exchange for giving a sexually exploited child the gift of life more abundantly. Learn how you can get involved. Connect with Forever Found online at foreverfound.org, or join them on Facebook, Twitter or on their blog.
How can you partner to become an advocate for freedom?
Related Article: Simi Native Rescues Sex-Trafficked Kids
(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
Prostitution in Ventura: not just in big cities and movies
HS Insider-Los Angeles Times
ew years ago, Ventura Police Department (VPD) received a call from a hotel in Ventura. The voice on the other line was a 17-year-old girl who was being prostituted. She had grown up in foster care the majority of her life and she had begun being prostituted at age 14. She shared her story with police officer David Ruggiero of Ventura PD.
“In Ventura County you don’t find, for the most part, street-walking prostitutes. Not like in Pretty Woman or some place like in LA or in areas where you will see girls walking the street,” Ruggiero said. “In Ventura County it’s more hidden beneath the surface. So there is a lot of like online escort services, there’s a lot of prostitution in hotels, and then in a lot of massage parlors have prostitution activity going on there.”
Ruggiero became involved in investigating human trafficking when he learned about it through his church.
“I went to some trainings and found out that it is going on in California, in Ventura County,” Ruggiero said.
Detective James Langford of Oxnard PD has been a part of the Narcotics/Vice Unit for the past six years. Langford believes that prostitution is “quite prominent” in Ventura County.
“In this county we have street walkers, illicit massage parlors, prostitution related online ads, sex tourism, pimps, and human trafficking,” Langford said.
Anyone under the age of 18 in prostitution is considered a human trafficking victim because a minor cannot legally consent to sex, according to Penal Code Section 261-269. Men or women, age 18 and older, in the sex industry, which includes prostitution, pornography, stripping, webcam shows, et cetera, are often kept there through force, fraud, and coercion, which also is included in the definition of human trafficking.
What Ventura and Oxnard PD Does
In recent years, the Ventura PD has developed Vice enforcement, which is a team that identifies the human trafficking that is occurring and underage girls that are being prostituted.
“If we’re not looking at prostitution at all we’re not going to find them,” Ruggiero commented. He is trying to work with the Ventura PD agency to establish more proactive Vice enforcement.
“So this year, more and more police agencies are doing proactive Vice enforcement and so that’s involving doing stings at massage parlors or lots of things on online escorts where we will contact a girl who’s working as a prostitute and then try and identify issues of victims of trafficking or not,” Ruggiero explained. “And then we also do the opposite side of where we set up a sting to arrest what are called ‘Johns’ who are the customers that are looking for prostitutes.”
A few months ago, Ventura PD conducted a sting that involved a female officer posting an ad on an escort site but identifying herself as underaged. When someone would respond to the ad, they would explain that she was underage. Several men still showed up to “pay her for sex,” and those men were arrested.
Ventura PD does not have a team designated to investigating human trafficking and prostitution.
Langford first got involved in investigating prostitution when he arrested a street-walker who was soliciting males for prostitution.
“Then I discovered a whole other side of the prostitution underground,” Langford explained. “From there, I began the investigations into the massage parlors, pimps and then discovered human trafficking.”
In the past six years, Langford, along with Oxnard PD, has arrested over 40 street prostitutes, conducted undercover massage parlor operations, and undercover internet stings. He also arrests pimps and men that hire women for forced sexual services, and has served dozens of search warrants at residential brothels where women were being held for commercial sex.
Langford, as well as Ruggiero, also works with Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking (VCCAHT) to “combat human trafficking within Ventura County.”
“In this county we have street walkers, illicit massage parlors, prostitution related online ads, sex tourism, pimps, and human trafficking,” Langford said.
“There’s been some good change in our county in the last couple years, I’m really excited about it. The District Attorney’s office is really making this a priority but we still need more law enforcement resources dedicated to it,” Ruggiero said.
Once victims are identified, Ventura PD works with the VCCAHT, the organization Forever Found, and the Coalition of Family Harmony. Resource providers in the county are a part of theses organization, so the Coalition is able to contact other groups to help provide women with housing, counseling, clothing, and toiletries.
“The ultimate goal is to try and identify the victims who are being trafficked by traffickers,” Ruggiero said.
Massage Parlors in Ventura
In Ventura, there is an abundance of massage parlors; some are valid businesses, while others are brothels that have a face of a massage parlor but have behind-the-scenes prostitution.
“For the most part for legitimate massage parlors, most of the customers are women. At [illegitimate] locations it’s like 90 percent men that are going in and so that’s usually a sign that something is going on there,” Ruggiero explained.
Many foreigners are exploited at these massage parlors, particularly Chinese women, according to Ruggiero. In residential brothels, girls from Latin America are brought in and prostituted from a home.
“The hard part of trafficking is that most of these people have become victims because of really bad situations they are already in,” Ruggiero said. “So when they come in contact with law enforcement, most of them aren’t usually running into our arms and begging for help; they’re scared, they don’t trust police, maybe they’re scared of their trafficker, maybe not. Either way they are not usually cooperative in identifying themselves as being victims.”
Help after prostitution
Forever Found is an organization that assists women after they are rescued from a trafficking situation. They provide women with essentials such as housing, counseling, and clothing.
Katie Rhodes is a part of Forever Found as the local programs director. She focuses on starting training and victim services in Ventura County.
Rhodes first learned about human trafficking 10 years ago through International Justice Mission, a faith-based nonprofit organization. International Justice Mission helps trafficking victims of both sexes, focusing heavily on South Asia.
“A few years ago, I started learning more about human trafficking occurring here in the United States,” Rhodes said. “[…] Piece by piece, I learned about all of the intersecting factors leading to trafficking: poverty, domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, cyber crime, undocumented status, homelessness, being in the child welfare system, et cetera.”
She then joined the organization Hope Rising, which focuses on opening a home for girls who have been victimized by sex trafficking. Finally, about a year and a half ago, she joined Forever Found as the local programs director.
Forever Found has five main components in their local services regarding prostitution.
Their training and awareness program teaches how to identify trafficking victims and how to work with survivors of prostitution. Forever Found holds free trainings for social services, churches, and other community groups.
Forever Found works with local law enforcement and service providers to attempt to change the current system to better identify and assist trafficking victims.
The Survivor Mentor Program at Forever Found takes “highly vulnerable” youth and trafficking survivors ages 12-25 and pairs them with two mentors to create a “supportive and loving relationship that will follow them regardless of their housing situation,” Rhodes explained.
Forever Found financially helps local police forces to conduct investigations that pinpoint trafficking and prostitution victims. Forever Found currently has memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Oxnard and Ventura Police Department.
Within Forever Found, there is a small team of highly trained women who make up SAFE: Standing Against Future Exploitation.
“[SAFE] meets with vulnerable youth who are showing red flags for current or future exploitation,” Rhodes explained.
Forever Found is only one of many organizations that assists trafficking and sexual exploited victims.
Although cases of human trafficking and prostitution are not as prominent in Ventura County as they are in larger cities, there is still prostitution activity occurring. Ventura and Oxnard PD working to “combat human trafficking within Ventura County,” according to Langford.
In Ventura County, there is not a specific set of detectives assigned to investigating human trafficking, prostitution, or any type of Vice activity. Officers are assigned to investigate this area collaterally to their regular position. Ruggiero doesn’t believe this is the most effective way to handle the issue of prostitution and trafficking and “think[s] that [it] still needs to be the goal in our county, [to have] dedicated law enforcement resources that are proactively doing this.”
“I would just say that there’s been some good change in our county in the last couple years, I’m really excited about it the District Attorney’s office is really making this a priority,” Ruggiero concluded.
Background Photo Credit: Carrie Coonan / The Foothill Dragon Press
Nonprofit’s law enforcement fund helpsfight human trafficking
Camarillo Acorn 2-26-2016
Authorities are cracking down on human trafficking throughout Ventura County with the help of a special fund created by a local nonprofit.
The Forever Found Law Enforcement Fund was established in 2014 to finance proactive investigations that aim to identify human trafficking victims in the county and target sexual predators, said Katie Rhodes, local programs director for the Simi Valley-based nonprofit Forever Found.
he funds can be used to cover police overtime costs and to purchase specialized equipment—like high-end microphones and cameras to record evidence—for undercover operations.
But there’s not enough in the limited fund to help agencies add personnel specifically to conduct the stings, which is “probably the biggest need for law enforcement right now,” Rhodes said.
“The fund is filling a huge gap right now, but our hope would be that enough . . . funds could be allocated for actual positions (in local law enforcement agencies), and then this would just be to fill in the holes,” she said. “But this (fund) can’t be the solution to human trafficking in Ventura County. Law enforcement agencies have to have a way to conduct ongoing, sustainable investigations.”
On Jan. 22, a Ventura Police Department sting paid for by the Forever Found Law Enforcement Fund resulted in the arrest of four men on suspicion of soliciting a minor for sexual acts.
Those arrested were Michigan resident Angelito Baylon, 43, and Ventura residents Jose Reyes, 30; Scott Starting, 62; and William Camp, 75. All four men have been released on bail, said Sgt. Denise Sliva of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
During the sting, Ventura police posted an ad with pictures of a young-looking female on a prominent sex advertisement website, authorities said. An undercover officer posed as the juvenile offering sex in exchange for money, and the men allegedly made arrangements to pay.
Sgt. Jerry Foreman of Ventura PD said the undercover officer made it clear she was underage each time she was contacted.
“They had every opportunity to change their mind, to not do it, but they still did,” Foreman said. When the men arrived at an agreed-upon location, they were found to be in possession of enough cash to pay for the sex and were arrested, the sergeant said.
The sting was the first conducted with money from the Forever Found Law Enforcement Fund. But, Rhodes said, all Ventura County police departments, as well as the FBI, Homeland Security and California Highway Patrol are welcome to apply for aid.
“(The fund) is a great idea, and so far we’ve been able to purchase some equipment and get help paying for overtime,” Foreman said.
Forever Found works to prevent, rescue and restore human trafficking victims.
The law enforcement fund was started after a local couple, who asked to remain anonymous, attended a Forever Found presentation in 2014 and were inspired to donate $20,000 to aid in the nonprofit’s mission.
During that presentation, Ventura police Cpl. Dave Ruggiero had mentioned that no agencies in Ventura County were proactively investigating trafficking at the time because of a lack of funds. In addition, there were no officers specifically assigned to investigate trafficking cases.
Rhodes said the goal of the fund is to bring awareness to the fact that the issue isn’t exclusively international. The term “human trafficking” generally refers to the illegal movement of people, typically for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
“ The good news is most people in the world, in terms of sheer numbers, aren’t being trafficked,” she said. “The bad news is that it’s absolutely happening in every neighborhood in Ventura County—rich or poor— because it’s an industry.
“(Those involved) just cater to different clients, so the victims look different in every neighborhood.”
Foreman said many don’t realize the depth of the countywide problem because there aren’t any full-time units devoted to proactive investigations.
“(Human trafficking) is kind of an underground problem, like drugs used to be, so if (law enforcement is) not actively investigating, people aren’t going to see it as much,” he said. “But I think as . . . investigations get better and more proactive, people are going to hear about it more often.”
Forever Found hopes to keep the law enforcement fund going by continuing to collect donations.
For more information or to donate to the law enforcement fund, visit www.foreverfound.org and click on “Give.”
Forever Found is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting those victimized by human trafficking, police said.
Funding to train officers to combat human trafficking is a problem, police said. Forever Found is accepting donations for the Ventura Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to pay for human-trafficking training and investigations.
David Ruggiero, a Ventura detective, is working with the group and the Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking. The coalition includes law enforcement, social service and nonprofit groups.
Tami Martin perused the racks of baby clothing at Second Story, an upscale thrift shop that recently opened in Simi Valley.
Martin was looking for clothing for her grandchildren, but she also had another reason for being in the store that sells gently used and sometimes new items, including purses and shoes, housewares, decorations, and women's clothing.
Every purchase made in the store is going to help children victimized by child trafficking and prostitution.
"It's for a great cause," Martin said. "That's one of the reasons why I love to be here."
The thrift shop, which had its grand opening celebration last month at 2321-A Tapo St., is operating under the charity Forever Found, a nonprofit Christian organization that focuses on prevention, rescue and restoration of child-trafficking victims.
Forever Found was started in Simi Valley by husband and wife Taylor and Shannon Sergey, and donates 100 percent of the money it raises to help and start safe homes around the world, including in the United States, Thailand, Ethiopia and India.
Sandy Schmid heard about Forever Found at Cornerstone Community Church, where she is a member and also worked.
Schmid retired and was looking to do something with her time.
"I prayed about what to do. I wanted to do something for women and a place where women could gather," Schmid said.
She came up with the idea to open the thrift shop, where all profits after rent and utility costs will go to Forever Found and Life Impact International, another organization started by a woman to help rescue children who were forced into prostitution.
"It is our hope that the thrift store will provide an avenue in the community to raise awareness and engage in the fight against the sexual exploitation of women and children by donating and/or purchasing donated goods," Schmid said.
Schmid said the name Second Story "comes from the our belief that every person has a second story in their lives when they encounter God, and those that are rescued from human trafficking and prostitution also can have a second story."
"Also, anything someone purchases has a second story," Schmid said.
The thrift shop is run by about 15 regular volunteers, all female.
Schmid said the volunteers are somewhat fussy with what is sold in the store, which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
"Because we're a small store, we're selective with the donations we receive. We only keep the best of the best and donate the rest to other charities," Schmid said.
C.J. Martin, 16, the daughter of Meagan Martin, helps run Forever Found.
"The clothing here is really cute. I'm impressed," she said.
Cindy Torres, who helps with Life Impact International, stopped at the thrift store during a recent visit to the United States from Thailand.
"We're so excited about this store," Torres said.
Shannon Sergey's mom, Mendy Gauthier, also a volunteer at the store, said her family appreciates what the store is doing.
"I'm brought to tears how many people have come by and thanked everyone here for what we're doing," Schmid said. The turnout at the store so far has been amazing, especially since customers have come in because of word-of-mouth and Facebook.
Volunteers such as Fran Thompson and Joyce Sua said they didn't need to be thanked because they wanted to be there. They both sorted and hung up clothing, and helped customers during a busy Saturday.
Mari Sanetra helped ring up items for customers on the register.
"I feel blessed every day being here, knowing we're doing something for a fantastic cause," Sanetra said.
Ventura Police Work to Combat Human Trafficking
Ventura County Star - 03.05.2015
"Funding to train officers to combat human trafficking is a problem, police said. Forever Found is accepting donations for the Ventura Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to pay for human-trafficking training and investigations."
No Longer Alone
Acorn Series, Part 2
Forever Found offers hope, support to victims of human trafficking
By Anna Bitong
ACHIEVING AWARENESS—From left, Megan Hamlin, Michele Henderson, Jamie Watson, Katie Rhodes and Vicki Frederick make up the backbone of Forever Found, a nonprofit based in Simi Valley that is dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn
Part two of a three-part series.
Dianne Amato was 16 when she met a pimp in a San Francisco park and he tricked her into going to a hotel room with two other girls. He told her she was going to work for him. He took her shoes and purse so she wouldn’t leave. She left anyway, escaping in the middle of the night.
The daughter of Italian immigrants, Amato started skipping school and smoking marijuana at 13. When she was 17, her high school boyfriend, whom she described as a “Romeo pimp,” persuaded her to become an exotic dancer to make money.
“It was like buying into ‘the dream,’” Amato told the Acorn. “The dream was, we were going to be together. He was going to go to school first and I would work; then it would be my turn to go to school. I wouldn’t have to do this for a long time.”
Instead she entered a nightmare. Her parents found out she was a dancer and kicked her out of their house. Homeless and feeling like she had no other choice, she began working under the control of pimps as a prostitute in massage parlors, motel rooms and rented houses in Los Angeles.
It was dangerous work. She feared for her life as robbers held guns to her head on more than one occasion. She witnessed the kidnapping of a prostitute from a massage parlor. A customer raped another prostitute, a friend of hers, after slashing her neck.
This time, Amato didn’t know how to escape.
Her experience is not unique. Katie Rhodes, local program director of Forever Found in Simi Valley, which began in 2010 to find homes for child survivors of sex and labor trafficking in the United States and abroad, said the group recently began receiving phone calls from adult victims of sex trafficking.
Last fall, Forever Found began offering programs specific to Ventura County in response to a growing number of trafficking victims being identified in the area, Rhodes said. Those who called Forever Found were referred to the Dream Center in Los Angeles, which provides shelter for victims of human trafficking and other services.
Rhodes is not aware of any local victims who are ready or willing to talk about their experiences.
“Most of the time, victims don’t want to talk about their stories,” she said. “Most people who’ve been trafficked in Ventura County have been moved to other locations for their recovery. It usually takes years before someone is ready to talk about it and we’ve only just begun identifying victims.”
Where are the victims?
Rhodes said local trafficking victims can be found online, including the website backpage.com.
“There have been cases of people advertised online and later identified as trafficking victims who have passed through our county,” she said. “For people who don’t believe the sex industry exists in Ventura County, it’s all online.”
Sex trafficking takes many forms, she said.
“In Ventura County we’ve actually had many cases of parents selling their children for sex in order to (pay for) their drug addiction,” Rhodes said. “But historically, those cases have not been filed or identified as being human trafficking.”
Christine Cesa was sold for sex by her father when she was a child in Cleveland, Ohio, a story that she told a crowd at the eighth annual Stop Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery educational forum at the First Presbyterian Church in Oxnard last month, hosted by the volunteer organization Soroptimist International.
She was 4 years old when she was brought to the basement of a church, where men bought tokens to abuse her. For years she was raped in homes, motel rooms, strip clubs and once at a Christmas party. She was smothered, burned, choked and beaten into submission.
“I knew I had to do what I was asked or I would be killed,” Cesa said. “And I knew my life was not worth much.”
She escaped the abuse with help from a church, then earned a scholarship for college and now advocates for children at risk for sexual exploitation.
“There are millions of people who are trapped and helpless,” she said. “You are the voice for them.”
Forever Found is part of the newly formed Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking, which is creating a countywide response to the problem. The coalition, which includes local law and federal enforcement agencies, is planning a sting operation, Rhodes said, which will be paid for by donations to the nonprofit’s local law enforcement fund for investigating trafficking cases. The nonprofit received a $20,000 donation from a couple who want to help combat trafficking in the county, Rhodes said. Local law enforcement has limited resources for the effort.
“If (the fund) were to grow more, we could have an officer dedicated part-time to human traffi cking, which has never happened before in our county,” Rhodes said.
Forever Found will also start a mentorship program for trafficking survivors this summer, offering the type of guidance that may have changed Amato’s life sooner.
Amato was 35 when she enrolled at Cal Baptist University in Riverside to study behavioral science with an emphasis in social work and started a new life after 15 years as a prostitute.
“School and therapy is what saved my life,” she said.
Amato is now a program director at The Mary Magdalene Project in Van Nuys, a nonprofit that helps victims of trafficking and prostitution out of that life. She’s helped women who’ve been trafficked all over California, including Ventura County. Among the lessons she’s learned is “survivor-led groups and mentorships really do work and help women get out.”
“I never knew anyone who’d gotten out,” she said. “I believe if I’d known somebody that said, ‘I did it. You can do it too. This is how,’ my exit would have been quicker and it wouldn’t have been as painful. I had no one to talk to.”
To submit an application to be a mentor or volunteer at Forever Found, or to donate to the group or their law enforcement fund, visit www.foreverfound.org.
For information about how to volunteer at The Mary Magdalene Project, visit www.mmp.org.
Forever Found staff will help lead a “Harm At Home” training from 6 to 8:30 p.m. this Fri., April 24 at the Ventura County Community Foundation, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo. Speakers will include Rhodes and Detective James Langford of the Oxnard Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Unit.
The third and final part of this series will look into local efforts to find and prosecute traffickers, and how to identify potential victims.
Click the link below to read the article:
Local Program Director Speaks at Kiwanis Meeting
Katie Rhodes, Forever Found
On Tuesday, September 16, Katie Rhodes of Forever Found spoke to us about human trafficking. Trafficking is defined as buying or obtaining a person through force, fraud or coercion for the trafficker’s gain. The result is slavery and both are prosecutable crimes. A pimp can make $150,000 to $200, 000 a year off of ONE child.
It is estimated that 30 million people worldwide are enslaved in some way (forced labor, the sex trade, etc.) and of those, 1.2 million are trafficked for sex. India, Ethiopia, Thailand, and Myanmar are the top four offenders in that category. After drug dealing, human trafficking is second only to drugs as the largest criminal industry in the world.
The problem is not confined to other countries. From 2010 to 2012, there were 1,277 known victims of human trafficking in Los Angeles. San Francisco and San Diego have the highest rates of child prostitution in the state. From 2011 to 2013, the police dealt with 5 cases of sex trafficking in Oxnard.
Katie gave us the indicators that someone is the victim and slave of trafficking: physical abuse and injury; being accompanied constantly by another person and seeming fearful of making free contact with other people; being a young person who seems to have a much older “benefactor”; having huge tattoos but offering no credible story about why he/she has them; unexplained new and expensive clothing and personal items.
Katie said that Forever Found combats child trafficking through its more than 5 rescue homes throughout the United States, and in other countries, that provide shelter, support groups, counseling, medical care, clothing, jobs and legal support. They conduct advocacy programs, encourage people to make one-time donations or sponsor a child rescued from slavery for only $35 per month or host an outreach event that educates the public about human trafficking. “Clearly, Forever Found shares the core values of Kiwanis.”
If you suspect a case of child abuse or trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733), or call your local Police Department.
Life Connected with Shannon Sergey and Lana Vasquez
KKLA News Segment by Kathy Vara and Keith Esparos
Shannon and Lana sit down and discuss how they became involved in the world-wide fight against Child Trafficking from a small town in Southern California.
99.5 KKLA Radio Interview
Frank Sontag Show 7.30.13
Shannon Sergey interview with Frank Sontag discussing recent raid that rescued 105 trafficked children and what Forever Found does to raise the awareness of child trafficking and prostitution.
99.5 KKLA Radio Interview
Frank Pastore Show - 6.7.2012
Frank Pastore interview Shannon Sergey and Megan Wilmarth about Forever Found. Last year they went to India and Ethiopia, where they witnessed families selling their children as slaves, and young girls reluctantly remaining in prostitution while they wait for a spot to open up in a safe house.
Listen to Shannon and Megan talk with Frank Pastore about their trip to Africa and India and about the Benefit Dinner on 9.22.11.
Shannon & Megan's itinerary for their trip to Africa & India was posted to a blog called The Daily Heirhead. So see the page and post, click the picture to the left.
Fran speaks with Shannon & Megan from the Forever Found organization.
"The local PTA is sponsoring an event next month aimed at teaching how to identify, prevent and ultimately end child trafficking.
Set for Tues., Jan. 11, the antichild trafficking awareness event is open to and appropriate for students in sixth grade and up as well as adults. Royal High School will be the host. Sponsored by the Simi Valley PTA/PTSA Council, the event is the first of its kind, said chairperson Sharon Porter."
"Ten years ago when Lana Vasquez was 23, she traveled to Thailand where she said her life 'literally turned around.'
The Simi Valley native said her teenage years were troubled, the result of being molested when she was a young girl.
While in Thailand, she learned about the horrors of child slavery and sex trafficking in what she called the 'armpit of the world for child prostitution.'"
"Forever Found will host a free child trafficking and prostitution awareness event and concert at 7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 29 at Cornerstone Church, 2080 Winifred St., Simi Valley.
Guest speakers Lana Vasquez, Pat McCalla and Veronica Wright will speak on the reality of this crime and the work that is being done to rescue the children."
Second Story Gives Items Another Chance to Help a Good Cause
Ventura County Star - 05.06.2014
"Sandy Schmid came up with the idea to open the thrift shop, where all profits after rent and utility costs will go to Forever Found and Life Impact International, another organization started by a woman to help rescue children who were forced into prostitution."
'"It is our hope that the thrift store will provide an avenue in the community to raise awareness and engage in the fight against the sexual exploitation of women and children by donating and/or purchasing donated goods,"' Schmid said."
Frank speaks with Shannon & Megan about Forever Found and the Awareness Event on 10/31/2010.