Freedom 4/24’s Gala fights trafficking
With luxury and elegance as its theme, Freedom 4/24’s fifth annual Freedom Gala, taking place Oct. 5 at Amazement Square, will be an intentional contrast to the problem of human trafficking in the U.S.
Freedom 4/24 is a nonprofit organization that exists to bring freedom and justice to victims and survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
Since the organization became a nonprofit in 2009, it has rescued countless lives and given victims a second chance at a better life. In 2017 alone, the organization rescued 110 girls from the Nagpur, India region, helped arrest 12 alleged traffickers in Knoxville, Tennessee and bought a second safe home in Pattaya, Thailand, according to Freedom 4/24’s website.
Due to its nonprofit status, the organization is responsible for coming up with all the funds necessary to fulfill its mission. One of the organization’s bigger events is its annual Freedom Gala.
“The Freedom Gala is designed to further awaken and unify the community’s resolve to bring an end to sexual exploitation and human trafficking,” Emily Worsham, the office manager at Freedom 4/24, said.
The gala is Freedom 4/24’s annual black-tie fundraising event. At the event, guests enjoy food and drinks, participate in a silent, live auction, and hear from a keynote speaker. This year, the keynote speaker is Barbara Amaya, a human trafficking survivor from Northern Virginia. This will be the first time a survivor has ever been a keynote speaker at the Freedom Gala.
“Each year, our gala focuses on a different partner or group of partners,” Worsham said. “This year, we are highlighting the work Freedom 4/24 and its partners are doing right here in the USA.”
Another new aspect is that, in previous years, the gala had a separate Awareness Exhibit available for guests to walk through before the event. However, this year, the awareness portion will be intertwined throughout the entire evening.
“The Freedom Gala is a great way to increase one’s awareness of human trafficking and the work that Freedom 4/24 and its partners are doing to combat this injustice,” Worsham said. “The purchase of tickets or sponsorship supports Freedom 4/24’s efforts in bringing freedom and justice both here in the United States and internationally.”
Although the gala is an excellent way to get involved, there are a number of other ways in which individuals can help. The first is by becoming a 4/24 Ally.
“A 4/24 Ally is someone who stands with Freedom 4/24 in the fight to end human trafficking year-round by providing ongoing, monthly financial support,” Worsham said.
Freedom 4/24 also seeks highly dedicated and passionate interns and volunteers year-round. Information on becoming an Ally, intern or volunteer can be found on Freedom 4/24’s website.
“Awareness can be spread by participating in any of Freedom 4/24’s events and programs, whether that be the Intern & Volunteer Program, the Freedom Gala, the 4/24 Ally Program or one of our International Outreach Trips,” Worsham said.
Those who are interested in taking part in the gala can purchase tickets and sponsorships at www.freedom424.org/freedom-gala