Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Soroptimist International of Mount Adams and Rotary of White Salmon-Bingen invite the public to “Stay Smart, Stay Safe: Learn About Human Trafficking,” to be held at Skyline Hospital, the lower level meeting room, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8.
The event is open to all community members, especially students in grades 7-12 and their families. The informational evening includes viewing a movie called “Deceptions” and discussing the issue of human trafficking in both Spanish and English. A meal will be provided by several local restaurants.
The event will be facilitated by Jim Grenfell, coordinator of AWARE Inc., of Vancouver, Wash., which developed prevention education programs for communities in Washington and Oregon. For more information visit www.awareprogram.net.
Members of Soroptimist first became aware of human trafficking three years ago while attending the Northwest Coalition Against Trafficking conference in Portland.
Worldwide, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry. It is the fastest-growing segment of crime, and our communities are very close to two cities — Portland and Seattle — that have the highest reports of human trafficking victimization in our nation. I-84 offers a quick conduit into Portland, and with social networking it is easier than ever to make contact with and lure our local youth.
“There’s no way to get around the fact that this is an unpleasant issue to discuss; but it is an issue that affects our community, particularly our youth, and we feel we need to do something to educate people about it,” said Sharon Scott, Soroptimist and an event coordinator.
“Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Although victims of human trafficking are of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic circumstances, our focus is on the trafficking of our youth,” she said. “We want parents and students to be aware of the predatory methods traffickers use to groom, entice and sexually exploit and enslave victims for their own profits.”
Rotary spokesperson Dale Connell added, “Methods of grooming of both boys and girls include social networking and internet contact, ‘boyfriend positioning’ and recruiting other teens, who encourage the acceptance and opportunity some youth desperately seek.
“Human trafficking is not prostitution,” he continued. “It is a crime of the victimization of an estimated 100,000 kids in the U.S. The key is prevention because sources inform us that worldwide, only one person is convicted for every 800 trafficking cases. Law enforcement understands this is a problem but prevention at a community level is the only way to prevent this devastating crime.”
For more information contact Soroptimist at 541-490-4712.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge