By Colleen Rushnak
Students filled the Brower Student Center not only to grab lunch and play their usual game of pool, but to support human trafficking survivors by writing letters on Nov. 16.
This event concluded the fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi Inc., philanthropy week, which fundraised for Love 146, an international organization that works to end child trafficking and exploitation. The letters will be sent to child survivors of sexual trafficking in the Philippines.
Throughout the week, Alpha Kappa Psi held a variety of events to raise money and awareness, including a Chick-fil-A fundraiser and a moment of silence for victims. The most highly-anticipated event was a coffeehouse on Nov. 13, which featured comedy and music performances.
“The turnout was good,” said sophomore international studies and communications double major Dylan Lembo. “The whole room was filled — not a single empty seat. We were all pretty psyched.”
Sophomore physics and secondary urban education double major Marianna Carella is the philanthropy chair for Alpha Kappa Psi. She was happy to be spreading the word about the social injustice the victims face.
“Even though one of our goals for this semester was to fundraise money for our philanthropy, our priority was to spread awareness for the cause,” she said. “We decided to do this through flyers and social media messages, but we found it most effective by tabling in the Stud to invite TCNJ students to write letters to survivors or come to our moment of silence.”
Love146 is a nonprofit organization that is working to end child trafficking and exploitation. The organization employs a variety of methods to do so, including educating children on how to spot traffickers and caring for survivors, according to its website. From 2010 to 2015, over 17,000 children across the world were educated in preventive measures, according to Love146’s 2015 Annual Report.
“I think it’s an issue that doesn’t get enough attention,” said Dan Bas, a junior accounting major and member of the fraternity.
Bas noted that this lack of attention might be caused by the media’s failure to adequately cover human trafficking issues, which would help make everyday citizens more aware of its presence.
“Human trafficking is something that is really, really real, but you don’t see it in the news, you don’t read about it in articles. It’s not at face value,” he said. “By bringing more awareness to it, it becomes more real to people.”