By Lawson Hembree ... via TheNextGreatGeneration.com
Freedom. It’s something many Americans take for granted. We are free to say, do, eat, and buy whatever we want. We can travel freely by foot, bike, car, or boat. There are relatively few restrictions on the average American’s life. However, that’s not the case for at least 27 million people around the world trapped in the bondage of human trafficking.
There are more people enslaved today than during the African slave trade. This slavery can range from bonded labor to sex slavery to indentured servitude. Until recently, not much has been done to intervene on an international level. But Millennials are changing that.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of this generation is our support of social causes. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Millennials donate on average of $341 each to charities and social causes each year. (Surprised? Me too.) That’s a pretty impressive for a generation laden with college debt and still on the higher end of unemployment numbers.
During the first week of January, I had the opportunity to see attend the 2012 Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA. This year’s conference, attended by over 44,000 Christian 18-to 25-year olds from all over the world, set a goal of raising $1 million for the cause of human trafficking through the Do Something Now campaign. In between sessions featuring messages from prominent Christian speakers like John Piper and Francis Chan, attendees were encouraged to go by one of the Freedom Stations in the Georgia World Congress Center to learn more about modern slavery and donate if they wanted to. Some students stood in line for over an hour in order to donate.
On the final night of the Passion Conference, the 44,000 students gathered in the Georgia International Plaza around a 100-foot high hand constructed from items made by slaves around the world and CNN covered the story as a part of its ongoing Freedom Project.
After the four-day conference was over, the college students alone had raised approximately $1.5 million (an average of $34/student). Combined with contributions from outside donors, $3.3 million was raised and donated to several charities that actively work to fight human trafficking.
Our generation doesn’t just give money to causes and hope things will get better, however. We make change happen... Continue