Bringing in the Dough by Jumping Out of Planes
Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. With over two million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year, it is a global crisis that must be stopped.
I’m at 18,000 ft. The door opens and I can feel the wind ripping around the plane. I remove my oxygen mask and I slide towards the open door. I’m about to make North Americas highest skydive in 3…2…1…
Let me start from the beginning.
I find myself aimlessly wandering around my block. I’m in Toronto. It’s 30 below but I’m not coming in anytime soon. I just watched a CNN documentary on Sex Trafficking that has blown my reality apart.
I try to think of myself as a well-informed human being; I watch the news, read the economist, give to the SPCA and Greenpeace every month. How did I not know about the 2 million women and children that will be sold into sex slavery this year? How is it the fastest growing criminal activity, grossing upwards of 9 billion a year, with girls as young as 3 being sold for as little as $50 US and forced to service up to 30 clients a day? My mind can’t wrap its way around this.
I’m running in the deep snow, images of the young girls swirling around my head like the snowflakes in the air, slowly blanketing my mind with nothing but these pictures. I want to cry right here on the sidewalk, just lie down in the snow and melt away from it all. But it won’t stop. It’s a now a full force blizzard in my mind… all I can think about is the statistics.
The average age a girl is sold into prostitution is 13,
Most of these girls will never see their 16th birthday.
I stop; tears running down my face, and just stand still and watch the snow fall. I feel so helpless.
I know that this is not how the world is changed; this is not how you make a difference, by just standing still doing nothing. But what can I do? As I stand there I remember William Wilberforce once said, “You may choose to look the other away, but you can never say again that you didn’t know.” I turn around and run home.
Its a few months later and I’ve just returned from Cambodia after meeting with The Somlay Mam Foundation, one of the forefront organizations in the fight against sex trafficking. They need a van for rescues and medical supplies. They need $18,000.
How am I going to raise this?
A few days later, I’m sitting at the 2011 CLASSY Awards, listening to the story of a girl who raised over 10k with a lemonade stand, and it comes to me: North Americas highest skydive is 18,000 ft.
And so 18for18 was born. I had ten days to raise $18,000 and I was going to do it by throwing my self out of a plane.
The doors open, I take my oxygen mask off and slide towards the door.
18,000ft, over a minute of free fall, and nothing to catch me but my parachute in..
3…I think of the girls
2…I remember looking into their eyes and promising id fight for them
1…I look beside me at all my friends that not only supported me but are also jumping for the cause. I feel so blessed.
As I free fall into nothingness, I have never felt so supported in my entire life.
We did it. Over $38,000 in 10 days.
“Love can heal, love can console, love can strengthen, and yes, love can make change” -Somaly Mam
More About This Charity
Volunteer of the Year
Serinda Swan for Somaly Mam
Envisioning a world where women and children are free from slavery.
- This Volunteer raised $38,200 through this Achievement
- This Volunteer raised $50,060 in the past year for their charity beneficiary
- This Volunteer helped 358 people in the past year
- 18,000ft sky dive to raise $18,000 (North Americas’ highest jump) providing care for 358 survivors of sex trafficking at 3 rehabilitation centers
United States, Cambodia