We often see headlines that claim a rise in human trafficking around major sporting events. Although this may be true, it is important to remember that human trafficking happens every day and we need to be more aware.
The S.O.A.P Project (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) was established in 2010 in response to the need for awareness and prevention of human trafficking. The organization’s work includes labeling bars of soap with the Human Trafficking Hotline and providing educational materials and local missing children information to surrounding hotels.
Currently, S.O.A.P outreaches in over 17 states and 30 cities across the nation, and one of those cities includes Columbus, Ohio. For the past eight years, the organization has partnered with Columbus volunteers in an outreach called S.O.A.P Up the Arnold. The Arnold Sports Festival is the world’s largest annual multi-sport festival, which brings an estimated 200,000 fans to watch 22,000 athletes within a four-day span located in downtown.
This year’s festival is from February 28th to March 3rd. It will be crucial to spread awareness and join the fight against human trafficking while hosting thousands of visitors. S.O.A.P Up the Arnold plans to partner with volunteers by labeling and delivering soaps to 150 Columbus hotels in one day. If you are interested in volunteering, mark your calendars for Saturday February 16th at 9:30 a.m. at Martin de Porres (2330 Airport Drive Columbus, Ohio).
Every day S.O.A.P. continues to fight human trafficking and find missing children around the country. Not only do they outreach to large events, they partner alongside of survivor retreats, support groups, Bible studies and businesses. There are many ways to be involved: volunteering at outreaches, donating soaps or adopting a motel– any type of partnership is valuable. Human trafficking is happening every day and it is essential that we become more aware and report anything suspicious to the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.