The Commission on Human Trafficking is aware that many congregations have programs that help prevent the trafficking of children, even though that may not be the primary purpose of the program. To highlight these programs and celebrate their work with children, the Commission has created an award called “Miriam’s Gift.” A cash award of $500 will be given to the program that best demonstrates concern for children at risk for being trafficked and the award will be presented at Annual Council in November.
The award is named for Miriam, the sister of Moses, who created a way to save her infant brother when Pharaoh ordered the death of all Hebrew baby boys. Years later, she led the Hebrew women through the Red Sea to freedom from slavery in Egypt. Because of her courage and creativity, many people found new life.
There are many factors that combine to put children at risk for sex trafficking:
incest and abuse
children who are runaways or “thrown away” by their parents
drug and alcohol abuse
low achievement in school
belonging to a vulnerable immigrant community
feelings of worthlessness
Programs that address children and youth who are at risk for trafficking are eligible for the award. Examples of such programs are after-school tutoring, mentoring, summer programs, healthcare, sex education, meals and housing. All programs like these strengthen children and help to keep them from falling prey to sex traffickers. Enclosed is a brief application form that allows the Commission to be aware of the good work in which you are already engaged on behalf of at-risk children. The Commission on Human Trafficking wants to honor programs that provide protection and care for at-risk children and help lead them into a full life in the Spirit.
Please fill out the form and return it by Monday, October 2, 2017. “Miriam’s Gift” will be announced by Bishop Wright at Annual Council in November. For further information, please call Lisa Venable Herring, chair of the Commission on Human Trafficking, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-394- 8521.