A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

25 Nov

Not long ago an acquaintance of mine e-mailed me a link to story about her family. I’ve known this family almost since the time they arrived in the United States in 2003. We weren’t good friends, but we were friendly. We live in an area of great diversity with many families like The D’Souzas, immigrants from India who kind of keep to themselves. Until I read the article they sent to me, I had no idea the ordeal they were living through in my quiet, affluent, middle-class neighborhood because I had no idea this kind of thing even happened in my kind of neighborhood. Their story broke my heart yet touched it deeply. It’s a very long story and one I decided needed to be told to even more people, which is why I wrote an article for The Examiner online newspaper that I write for. To get more of the story, you can click on the following link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/from-slavery-to-freedom-a-different-kind-of-thanksgiving

There’s so many things that I take away from the D’Souza’s story. The first is that this truly can happen anywhere and is probably happening everywhere. Second is that we need to keep our eyes and ears open, especially when were in an establishment that has a large immigrant population working in menial jobs. Third is that we need to be willing to take action. For me that means writing this blog post and the article in The Examiner. It also means discussing what happened to the D’Souzas on my Blog Talk Radio show, Better Living Daily, especially in conjunction with Thanksgiving. This is a family that’s been through more than most of us can even imagine and yet they’ve come out on the other side grateful and happy. It hasn’t been easy, and it isn’t over yet, but they’re filled with joy and hope and gratitude for every freedom that their life in America provides them.

I could go on and on about how I feel regarding the D’Souza’s situation. It makes me angry and sad to know people in my country are being treated the way they were treated. It makes me feel stupid to know it was going on in my own neighborhood and I didn’t have a clue. It makes me proud that the few people who did know did all the right things and helped a family escape from something so horrific. Most of all, it makes me grateful for freedom and the fact that the D’Souza family now truly understands those freedoms as well.

The only thing that the decision family asked when I interviewed them was to share the resources that brought them from human trafficking to freedom. For the privilege of sharing their story, I feel like it’s the least I can do.
Here are those resources:

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888

If you suspect human trafficking you can also contact the FBI in the following ways:
Report Human Trafficking/Get Help
– Call 1-888-373-7888
– Contact Your Local FBI Office
– Submit Information Electronically
– FBI Office for Victim Assistance
– Help for Victims Brochure

When you realize that you’ve been raised in a country that values freedom above all else and there are those living so close to you that have no idea what that freedom really is you have to step back and take a breath. You realize to privileged you really are, at least in my case you use what resources you have to spread the word and do what you can to end slavery everywhere and for always. Please take the time to read the article. It’s eye-opening and life-changing, and please, if you suspect this is going on anywhere, contact the authorities because sometimes the people who need the most help are the most afraid to help themselves. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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One Response to “A Different Kind of Thanksgiving”

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  1. A Different Kind of Thanksgiving | karenbemmes - November 25, 2013

    […] A Different Kind of Thanksgiving. […]

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