by SharonTatom Garcia
Earlier this year, Echelon Detroit shined a light on a serious and pervasive issue often hidden in plain sight: human trafficking. Through a variety of partnerships, Echelon brought together young professionals, social workers, corporate partners and caring community members for an event that raised awareness and provided networking opportunities to make a difference.
Anne Venet, case manager for The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative in Metro Detroit, and Jenna Fiore, University of Michigan School of Social Work MSW candidate and Salvation Army board fellow, shared the complicated details surrounding human trafficking—modern-day slavery—and taught those in attendance about the recovery challenges victims often face and how they can help.
“We organized the event with a sense of urgency to raise awareness and left the event feeling educated, inspired and motivated to make a difference in Detroit,” said Anil Kapoor, president of the Detroit Echelon Chapter.
Those in attendance donated hygiene items, household cleaning supplies, gift and gas cards, and new or gently used clothes.
Echelon is a Salvation Army young professionals group that seeks to engage and mobilize the next generation for the organization through fellowship and networking, donations and fundraising, and service and volunteering.
In the Central Territory there are currently seven Echelon chapters including Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Milwaukee, Wis., Minneapolis, Minn., Peoria, Ill., St. Louis, Mo., and Indianapolis, Ind. Two more are being developed in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Omaha, Neb.