Anti-human trafficking speaker coming to New Life March 22

Courtesy Photo Becky McDonald, founder and president of Women At Risk International, will lead an anti-human trafficking presentation on March 22 at New Life Christian Fellowship in Alpena.

An anti-human trafficking campaign is coming to Alpena on Friday, March 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at New Life Christian Fellowship, 317 S. Ripley Blvd., Alpena.

Becky McDonald, founder and president of Women At Risk International, will present a free seminar on human trafficking, the second largest and fastest growing branch of organized crime. Women At Risk International is a nonprofit organization based out of Grand Rapids. The seminar’s purpose is to educate and empower community members to “see the unseen.”

Event organizers emphasize the importance of parents being informed and proactive­ — 50 percent of those lured into human trafficking are minors.

The U.S. State Department estimates that between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the U.S. every year. The average age a child is targeted and recruited into sex trafficking in the U.S. is 13 years old. Statistics reveal that the United States is the number one producer of child pornography in the world.

Adults and high school students are encouraged to attend and become informed. Parental discretion is advised for junior high students. Due to content the event is not appropriate for children.

McDonald’s international efforts for women and children at risk have taken her to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South America the Caribbean and across the U.S. She is a firm believer in the power of humor in the face of darkness. She has spent three decades working in international, anti-trafficking relief efforts and travels the world educating churches, universities, communities, law enforcement, legal and medical societies, embassies and foreign governments and Homeland Security on this topic.

A wide selection of handmade items made by at-risk and rescued individuals will be available for purchase at the event. Every $300 in product sales provides funds to support an individual in a safe house for an entire month and empowers rescued women to earn income with dignity, free from their lives in slavery.

For further information visit www.newlifealpena.org or www.facebook.com/newlifealpena or email church@newlifealpena.org.

Information about McDonald and the mission of WAR, Int’l. can be found at www.warinternational.org.

The event is sponsored by the Alpena Area Ministerial Association/Finding Hope, Alpena Free Methodist Church, Catholic Human Services, First Assembly of God, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hope Lutheran Church, Living Hope, New Life Christian Fellowship, Options Pregnancy Center, The Salvation Army, Sunrise Mission, Tri-Point Church of God, Word of Life Baptist Church and WOVEN Women’s Ministry.