A SPECIAL HOLIDAY UPDATE TO FRIENDS OF HEAL TRAFFICKING

I thought of you the other day, as I was finishing up a grueling 12-hour shift in the Emergency Department (ED). And though I was exhausted, I smiled.

When James* came into the ED earlier in the day, accompanied by a man claiming to be his brother, his leg was bleeding profusely. Because of pandemic protocols, the “brother” had to wait in his car. He didn’t want to leave. After speaking with James, I found out why. The man with James was not his brother. He was his “boss”. James worked as part of a landscaping crew in a nearby community. The injury to his leg was sustained by using a faulty chainsaw to trim shrubbery. It had happened to others on the crew but never this badly. James let me know that he worked 10-hour days with one small break for food each day. He slept with many others on the floor of an apartment owned by the boss.  If he tried to leave, he was threatened with deportation. His meager earnings didn’t allow him to even think of planning an escape.

James’s story was overwhelming to hear, but when I thought of you, I smiled. The problem of human trafficking around the globe and in our own backyards is epidemic. It takes a very special person – someone like you — to care about survivors of trafficking. But you’re a HEALER. You understand that James’s story is playing out in hospitals and health care centers everywhere. And because you care and support our work, HEAL Trafficking is able to lead innovative health solutions to eradicate human trafficking in our communities worldwide. I was able to support James because of my knowledge about human trafficking, and through my work with HEAL Trafficking we’ve been able to train thousands of health care professionals to better support people like James in their communities. 

Can I count on your generous support once again as we enter this special season of thanks and giving? I’m excited to announce that if you make your gift by December 31, 2021, it will be matched dollar for dollar by Change a Path, a Bay Area donor circle that provides grant support to nonprofits working in the human trafficking field. Now your gift can go twice as far!

James was afraid to tell me his story because he didn’t want to get into more trouble. But because I, and our entire care team, knew how to engage and steer James to resources that could help him get out of his trafficking situation, James’s leg was cleaned and patched up, and with his agreement, I was able to connect him with someone who was able to help him immediately. James’s “brother” was nowhere to be found.

As always, thank you for being part of the HEAL family. Every day, your involvement to help eradicate human trafficking makes an important difference in the lives of thousands of patients like James. Please help us to reach and train more health professionals by making your most generous year-end gift today. Together, we can make the seemingly impossible, possible.


Sincerely,Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH
CEO, HEAL Trafficking

* name changed to protect privacy

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