It’s now tied for the world’s second largest criminal enterprise and its product is human beings. Currently, an estimated 29.8 million people are the victims of human trafficking, including 300,000 children at risk of trafficking in the United States alone. Now joining the crusade for what our president has called “one of the greatest human rights causes of our time” is the newly launched crowdfunding website, ENDcrowd.com.
Putting the power to fight this problem in the hands of people everywhere, ENDcrowd.com is a voice for this issue that has gone underserved for far too long. Few realize there are more people enslaved today than any time in history.
“Human trafficking is now estimated to be a $150 billion a year industry; in stark contrast, approximately 1 percent of that budget is available for the groups struggling to fight against it,” said ENDcrowd founder, Joe Schmidt. “ENDcrowd is focusing on the heart of the problem, driving both funding to stop this injustice and awareness of how prominent and close to home it actually is. We believe that, together, we can be the crowd that ends human trafficking forever.”
Differing from the conventional philanthropic practice in which people donate money to an overarching cause or organization, ENDcrowd employs targeted giving campaigns for specific projects that will allow audiences to become modern day abolitionists and engage with organizations fighting slavery at its source. For example, people can currently support ENDcrowd campaigns that will fund:
- A van to transport students to and from school in a Cambodian town, thus preventing the risk of being trafficked.
- Supplies enabling women rescued from human trafficking in India to make and sell jewelry in order to earn livable wages and emerge from poverty.
- A motorcycle for transportation and training for staff and other leaders of community watch groups in areas of Sierra Leone.
- Development of an electronic toolkit to educate students across the United States on key safety measures that can prevent trafficking.
The ENDcrowd campaigns are each partnered with and support an established nonprofit working to help survivors or prevent further trafficking, domestically and internationally. Through the crowdfunding platform, similar in format to Kickstarter, visitors can learn more about these programs and select to support ones they feel passionately about, making donations in any dollar amount. Donors will receive updates on projects they support, and even get pictures of the final results, such as the purchased van actually taking children to and from school.
ENDcrowd’s founder, motivated by his faith and a desire to make a difference in the world, created the website to give people a clear, tangible path to participate in the fight against human trafficking, and to also ensure people understand the problem is real, rampant and happening in their own backyard.
“Beyond the sheer size of the problem, what many people don’t realize is that human trafficking is an equal opportunity atrocity. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. It happens in all 50 states – right here in America,” said Schmidt. “And it’s right here in America that I hope we can ignite a global movement empowering those who are free to forever change lives around the world with just a click of a button and a generous heart.”
Fifteen campaigns are currently active to support some of the world’s top freedom fighters and a number of corporations have already stepped up to match donations on many of the projects. To learn more and become part of the ENDcrowd helping end human trafficking, visit www.ENDcrowd.com and get in on the conversation at @theendcrowd and facebook.com/endcrowd.
Endeavoring to put an end to human trafficking, both nationally and internationally, ENDcrowd is a nonprofit crowdfunding platform aiming to raise money and awareness for this hugely underserved cause. It partners with established charities around the world to host their specific targeted giving campaigns that will truly make a tangible and immediate impact in the fight against modern-day slavery. ENDcrowd’s parent organization, Audacity Factory, is a think-tank incubator based in Raleigh, North Carolina, that develops and drives initiatives to bring attention to underpublicized, underfunded – yet critical – domestic and global matters. Its mission is to positively impact the lives of 10 million people over the next 10 years. For more information, please visit www.ENDcrowd.com and www.audacityfactory.com.
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