January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which calls attention to the fact that human trafficking is modern day slavery. Millions of men, women and children are forced to provide labor or perform sex acts against their will. Many victims are forced into these situations through fraud or coercion – often enticed with the promise of love, attention, clothing, housing, money and more. According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking generates billions of dollars worldwide, second only to drug trafficking.
The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT program helps survivors of trafficking leave their detrimental situation and start a new life. Survivors receive help with rent, utilities and food, counseling, job search assistance, life skills, referrals to other resources and more.
Continue reading “Human Trafficking Month: How You Can Combat Trafficking”
When someone says “human trafficking,” often times we view it as a problem far away from our shores that affects other people. It’s hard to imagine this modern day slavery is happening over here, hurting the people within our community each and every day. But the reality is just that: human trafficking is happening right here, right now. In Illinois, we have the 5th highest number of trafficking cases in the country, and Rockford is ranked second behind Chicago in human trafficking cases. This heinous crime affects all of us and we must work together to stop it.
Continue reading “How One Illinois Congressman is Fighting Human Trafficking”
As the temperatures drop way below freezing in Chicago, the danger for those who are homeless increases. Families and individuals living on the streets – in alleys, doorways, parks and below underpasses – try to move inside to avoid the brutal cold and whipping wind. But there aren’t nearly enough shelters with beds to provide a warm and safe space for everyone, and sometimes those most vulnerable are unable to find a place to stay overnight. For those left out in the cold, the extreme weather like we’ve had since Christmas – can be deadly.
But The Salvation Army is working around the clock to help people stay warm or find shelter if needed. Continue reading “As Temperatures Drop, The Salvation Army Hits the Streets to Help”
It seems every time we turn on the TV we are reminded that human trafficking and slavery still happens. We see it in dramatic plot lines: the young girl who is kidnapped and locked in a basement; the domestic worker who desperately pleads the first stranger he sees to rescue him. But as these images circulate, our impression of human trafficking becomes distorted. While these extreme scenarios do happen, they don’t reflect the most common forms of human trafficking.
With January’s designation as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we’re dedicated to increasing awareness about trafficking and what you can do to combat it with the help of STOP-IT, a program of The Salvation Army Family & Community Services.
In the middle of December, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the first new tax bill in three decades. With the bill’s passage came confusion about how it could affect charitable donations.
Here are some of the highlights and what the new tax law may mean to you as you consider gifts to your favorite charities.* Continue reading “The New Tax Law and Your Charitable Donations”