Human trafficking has gone on for hundreds of years and only becomes more reprehensible in the 21 century. For 12 years, Long Beach, Calif,-based Forgotten Children has tried to staunch the flow, going into city streets to bring women into its drop-in center, where they can find shelter, GED training and a path to a better life. Forgotten Children also has a safe house where women can be sheltered from harm.
According to Jacquie Hardiman, director of operations/volunteer coordinator, the 5,000 women the organization has rescued have “barely made a dent” in the population — some as young as 12-years old — who are being exploited. Hardiman says that these girls often start out in foster care situations gone bad, and the organization is training youth ambassadors to meet with young women in foster homes and youth detention centers to teach them how to recognize a sexual predator.
Forgotten Children is a faith-based organization, says Hardiman, and only accepts private donations, not grant money. People often donate cars, which the group needs to take the women to doctors’ appointments or court dates. When the cars, which are often pretty elderly to start with, become unusable, the organization donates them to Kars4Kids.
Like many others, she learned about Kars4Kids through its iconic jingle. But she appreciates the convenience of Kars4Kids service which, she says, will pick up the cars wherever they are. The process is simple, too.
She adds that Forgotten Children appreciates donating its cars to “an organization with heart that has programs that give back to the community.”