Fundraiser held in Mamaroneck to end human trafficking
A group of people in Westchester is raising money to try to combat human trafficking with a fundraiser at Modern on the Rails in Mamaroneck.
It started after an Eastchester mother and daughter and their friends saw the movie "The Sound of Freedom" about child trafficking. After seeing it, they felt they had to do something.
They gathered people to raise money in a fundraiser that comes just a day after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package extending protections against trafficking in the state.
The fundraiser benefits two groups. The Franciscan Sisters who work, in part, to prevent trafficking. The O'Connell House shelters victims with 24/7 support from nuns.
"The sisters are there all night long and that's when things happen. That's when the pain, PTSD, and trauma really hits and they have to rock them oftentimes back to sleep and be mothers to these girls," Deb O'Hara Rusckowski, founder of the O'Connell House, said.
"Our desire is if young people can catch the love of the Lord early on, it'll keep them out of harmful behaviors," said Father Vincent Druding, founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Pure Heart.
The O'Connell house also focuses on training health care workers to identify victims because O'Hara Rusckowski says 88-92% of survivors sought out medical care, so health care facilities are a good place to connect victims with resources.
To report activity you think is related to trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's 24/7 hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Other way to help are below:
FSPH Direct Giving Link:
O’Connell House Direct Giving theoconnellhouse.org
Or mail checks payable to:
Collegia-The O’Connell House
And mail to:
The O’Connell House P.O. Box 9568 Lowell, MA 01853