Written by Jake Mooney
The Harding Criminal Justice Association (HCJA) is partnering with Partners Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) in an event for all social clubs and organizations on campus to put together go-bags for human trafficking victims.
Vice President of HCJA junior Todd Yurcho said PATH is an Arkansas-based human trafficking advocacy agency that helps human trafficking victims rehabilitate by giving them temporary shelter, resources and counseling
After a conference HCJA hosted with PATH on Jan. 19, president of HCJA junior Anaka Young and Yurcho spoke with PATH about what Harding students could do as a community to help combat human trafficking.
“They told us that the [go-bags] would be the best way for whoever wants to get involved to help,” Yurcho said. “The bags’ purpose is to help victims that have been picked up by law enforcement or an advocacy agency, like PATH, to offer sustainable, but temporary, resources until the victim can rehabilitate.”
The go-bags include clothes, hygiene packs, combs, hair products, pain killers, stuffed animals and fidget toys.
On Jan. 20, HCJA had a meeting to discuss the logistics of the go-bags, and what ideas they had about ways to get the student body involved in the project.
HCJA member junior Luke Olree said they discussed the logistics of the go-bags during the meeting.
“Todd and Anaka brought up the go-bags, and we started brainstorming about how to get the student body involved,” Olree said. “The way that we decided on was to get the social clubs involved.”
Wednesday, Jan. 26, the officers of HCJA met with the service directors of social clubs and talked about the contents of the bags, where to drop them off and the deadline to have them done.
Olree said he thinks the biggest thing that club members, especially service directors of the clubs, could do is to stress the importance to other members and that “this is something that we should all be involved in as a club.”
The process for assembling the Go Bags started Jan. 27 after Yurcho announced the goal of one-hundred bags during chapel. During this process, the HCJA plans to host a bake sale and an information session. Yurcho said that as of Wednesday they are awaiting permission to have the bake sale in the Student Center.
“We are going to have baked goods, flyers and sweatshirts,” Young said. “We want to raise money so we can have the items needed for the bags, but also we think it would be nice for the survivors to have gift cards to use.”
The deadline for the bags to be completed is on Feb. 12. A PATH representative would come on Feb. 17 to have an information seminar, and at that time would pick up the bags.
For more information about the Go Bags or to learn more about human trafficking contact Todd Yurcho at firstname.lastname@example.org.