Special to the Journal
Salado UMW and Roundtable members are hosting a presentation at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center on June 3 at 5:15 p.m. They plan to discuss an action plan to help minors, including prevention, detection, and intermediate and long-term recovery. The Family Life Center is located on 205 E. 3rd Ave. in Belton.
Domestic minor sex trafficking is our problem. For several years, United Methodist Women (UMW) have focused on human trafficking in the United States. This is the second most lucrative illegal business ($10 billion annually) in the country. The average age of these children, primarily girls, is 15 years, which means about 50% are between 12 and 14. Last year, over 85 children came under Bell County Juvenile Services jurisdiction.
Salado UMW has taken the initiative to provide Bell County constituents more information on how individuals, service clubs, Sunday School classes, UMW members, and any other inspired citizens can assist in the rehabilitation of juvenile girls and boys. SUMW members have been in contact with Dawn Owens, assistant director of Juvenile Services and a member of the Bell County DMST Roundtable, which is composed of county officials and support groups engaged in detection, rescue, rehabilitation, and the eradication of juvenile sex trafficking in Central Texas.
SUMW is initiating, along with other Bell County UMW women, opportunities to assist in the rehabilitation of the juvenile victims. UMW recognizes these victims will be citizens and parents along with our own grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Support needed consists of volunteers stocking shelves, phoning people, making weighted blankets, and filling backpacks which provide soap, wash cloths, towels, toothpaste and brush, a new sweat suit, among other things.
For more information, please contact Margaret Blanton of Salado United Methodist Women at 254-931-4612.