Volume 12 | Issue 3
March 2021
Human trafficking in the news
ASAP Express & Logistics leads by example as it fundraises for TAT
As a company, ASAP Express & Logistics made a commitment to fight human trafficking, and they decided to lead by example. In January, National Human Trafficking Awareness Month (NHTAM), ASAP pursued their commitment by fundraising for Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and a Michigan-based charity called Hope Against Trafficking. Throughout the month, for every shipment sent by ASAP customers, ASAP made a $5 donation to Truckers Against Trafficking, Shipments from the top customer were matched to Hope Against Trafficking. By month’s end, customer shipments resulted in a $5,155 donation to TAT and over $1800 for Hope.

ASAP began their campaign last November by having their sales team mention the upcoming fundraiser to customers and advertising it through their digital channels. They also bought ad time on local radio stations in the Detroit area to bring awareness to human trafficking and the fundraiser. Throughout the campaign, they received positive reactions from their sales executives in the field, including other business leaders that they interacted with throughout the campaign. XPO, ASAP’s top customer, even featured the campaign on their site.

Joshua Eakle, ASAP Marketing and Business Development manager, said that "even during an international pandemic, law enforcement sources estimate there were at least 22,000 attempts to purchase women in Michigan in 2020. Not even a potentially life-threatening virus could prevent some men from exploiting women." The team at ASAP believes that is unacceptable. John Cummings, ASAP CEO, always looking for new ways to support organizations fighting the scourge of trafficking, thought a fundraising campaign during NHTAM was a small way the company could help out.

“When I first heard about the tragedy that is human trafficking and the stories about little girls being tortured and raped, I was compelled to get involved to make a difference wherever I could. Owning a transportation company, Teaming up with Truckers Against Trafficking, allowed me as the owner of a transportation company to get involved nationally,” Cummings said. “Hope Against Trafficking allowed me to get involved locally and in a more personal way. On behalf of myself and the ASAP Team, we are and will remain committed to fighting and preventing this horrific crime wherever and however we can.”

“We are thrilled with this innovative and simple way ASAP created to fundraise for TAT,” said Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director. “We really hope it will inspire other companies to look at their own structure and processes and create some similar events. We’ve also got ideas for employee fundraisers on our website and invite companies to take a look.”
Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director, center, holds a ceremonial check representing
the money raised by ASAP for TAT in its recent fundraiser.
Tune in to Facebook for TAT’s Addressing Demand Watch Party
People often wonder why there’s so much sex trafficking, so many victims. It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Demand creates the need for victims. But do you know what factors feed demand and how they can be controlled?

Join TAT’s initial Facebook Watch Party on Addressing Demand March 18, from 4-5 p.m. (PT), to watch TAT’s informative video addressing the demand for commercial sex and how it relates to human trafficking. The video will be followed by an open discussion, moderated by Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, and Alan Smyth, executive director of Saving Innocence. To view a trailer of the video and fill out a registration form, click here.

“Men don't always realize how their actions and behaviors can fuel the demand for commercial sex,” Greek explained. “If you want to stand up against human trafficking, and if you want to protect our daughters, sisters, and mothers, then join other men on March 18, as we have a conversation to address this issue.”
Have you taken a virtual FDP tour …
listened to a Driving Freedom podcast?
While there’s nothing like an in-person tour of the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) to experience the visceral impact of human trafficking, people can still reap the benefit of this unique mobile exhibit through virtual tours, while COVID restrictions on travel and gatherings remain in place. These tours can be personalized for your company or organization. Upcoming scheduled events include:
  • March 1-4: TAT's Western Regional Truck Stop Training will share the FDP. 
  • All of March: Walmart Women in Transportation SE Region are sharing the FDP tour, with Helen Hofer, FDP director, hosting a webinar on March 24. 
  • May 10-14: Schneider Women’s Network will share a virtual FDP tour, with Susan Dold, TAT system administrator, speaking on May 11 at 11 a.m. CST. 

Also available with vital human trafficking tips and information are TAT’s Driving Freedom podcast episodes. Drivers, especially, can turn these on about 30 minutes out from their destination and either learn something new or get a refresher on important items to remember. The latest podcast episodes posted are:
  • Victim Recovery with Professional Driver and Harriet Tubman Award Winner Arian Taylor 
  • Empower Freedom with Kevin Ficke, Texas criminal investigator
  • On March 3: Pornography and Human Trafficking with Jake Roberson of NCOSE 

“As our heroes are out on the road, we're creating not only more tools for personal education but great tools for them to share with their company, friends and family, so we can exponentially grow those equipped to stop trafficking,” commented Hofer. “These resources will continue to benefit those hauling on our roadways for years to come. Both our Driving Freedom podcast and the virtual FDP tour bring our audience in contact with the real stories of human trafficking, so they know exactly what to look for and how to respond. When you get to hear directly from the experts and those who have experienced this reality, you gain a deeper level of understanding and urgency, knowing the actions you take could drastically change the lives of others.”
How does your state compare to others implementing
TAT state-based elements?
Around the country, TAT works to activate law enforcement at every level to move states forward in the implementation of the components of the Iowa MVE (Motor Vehicle Enforcement) Model to increase awareness and combat human trafficking nationwide through the commercial trucking industry.

To date, 48 states ((31 fully and 17 partially) have adopted that model. The actions each state has taken so far can be viewed on this interactive map. In addition to the critical anti-trafficking elements adopted, implementation of the Iowa MVE Model has led to increased partnership opportunities for TAT, including Coalition Build (CB) and panel participation, undercover investigations, in-depth law enforcement training and increased introductions to other agencies.

Bi-annually, TAT sends out MVE state progress reports and asks contacts two questions: Is everything correct on the state report and do they need more materials.

“This month, we had a very eager response from several states who wanted to highlight all the extra ways they are raising awareness with TAT materials, the presentations they are giving, the outreach, the new Coalition Builds they’re in process of planning ... some of them are lobbying hard to get more elements of the model coded in on the map,” said Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director. “These states, in particular, have already fully adopted the six core elements of the model; now they’re wanting all the extras they do to be noted. We ended up making changes to several state reports.”

She continued, “I think what we can glean from this is that law enforcement is ‘all in’ with their dedication, and they are seeking additional ways and getting very creative in making inroads to other entities with our materials. They aren't satisfied with just stopping with our asks ... they are going above and beyond. Well done!”
February 2021 Calendar of Events
March 1-31 – Walmart Women in Transportation FDP virtual tour
March 1-4 – West Regional Truck Stop FDP virtual tour
March 3 – West Regional Truck Stop Training, Annika Huff, TAT training specialist and survivor-leader, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist and survivor-leader, presenting
March 8 – Vector Logistics virtual TAT training, Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director, presenting
March 10 – FSC Southern Ontario Chapter, Liz Williamson, TAT training specialist and survivor-leader, presenting
March 16 – Justice Seekers Demand, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, TAT training specialist and survivor-leader, presenting
March 18 – Man-to-Man Addressing Demand Facebook Watch Party, 4-5 p.m. PT, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, and Alan Smyth, executive director of Saving Innocence, presenting
March 24 – Human Trafficking Trailblazers event, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Esther Goetsch, CB director, presenting
March 24 – Walmart Women in Transportation webinar, Helen Hofer, FDP director, presenting
March 25 – Starfish Ministries, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
March 26 – Rotary Club of St. Petersburg, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
March 27 – Meadow Lark Agent Summit, Laura Cyrus, TAT Corporate Engagement director, presenting
March 30 – FSC Northern Ontario Chapter, Liz Williamson, TAT training specialist and survivor-leader, presenting
Thank you to our copper level and above individual donors!
Diamond:
Runbeck/Mowat Fund
Platinum:
Douglas Kegler
Gold:
Jonathan and Jill Lim, Bob Paris, Andy and Karin Larsen, Diane Reed
Silver: 
Lou and Ronda Leeburg, Scott and Terry Koch, Anna McCoy, Anne Namuth
Bronze: 
Mark and Julie Mihevc, Chris Ripani, Stephanie Guindy, Amy Reitmar, Dan and Emily Dykstra
Copper:
George Cravens, Patti Gillette, Linda Burtwistle, John McKown, Ken Johnson, Mike and Karen Kuykendall, Sarah Roark, Matthew Bleach, Kent Marshall, Lindsey England, Rich McArdle, Don Blake, Scott Perry, Grinnell Family, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Turner, Amber Throckmorton