God gave me a teacher's heart and I have been loving teaching students for the last 28 years at some of our local high schools and the University of Toledo. In 2008 my son-in-law gave me a book about trafficking called 'Not for Sale' by David Batstone. I only read the first two chapters because the real-life stories of trafficking survivors were horrific and that was all I needed to inspire me to do something to help. I thought slavery was over, at least in the U.S. but the book proved that was a lie and I knew I could not continue living my comfortable, American, Christian life and not do something to help.
I started looking around for ways to get involved. I decided the logical thing for me to do, since I have a logical/Mathematical mind, was to volunteer at a local shelter and help girls with their education. I was shocked to find that there were no shelters for adolescent survivors of sex trafficking in Toledo, in Ohio or even Michigan or Indiana. There was no place for me to volunteer to help. In fact, there are only about 8 shelters in the entire U.S. with room for about 100 girls even though the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children testified to congress in 2012 that they estimate that we have at least 100,000 children, in the U.S. who are enslaved to prostitution, child pornography, strip clubs and so-called massage parlors.
I decided that we needed to build and operate a 24/7 recovery home for adolescent survivors in northwest Ohio so I contacted about a dozen close friends and asked them to prayerfully consider joining me in this project. Three replied with a 'yes' and so we formed a board, became incorporated in Ohio, earned our 501c3 non-profit status and built a beautiful $250,000 home which is mortgage free! God inspired countless people to help with the build and to join all of our committees. In the summer of 2012, we earned our state license to operate a group home for six, adolescent girls between the ages of 10 & 17. Since that time, we have had the priviledge and joy of helping 15 young ladies from 12 to 17 years of age.
In the Bible, there is a passage of Scripture in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25. In it, Jesus Christ says, 'When you feed or give clothes or offer comfort to people in need, then it is as if you were feeding/caring for Him personally.' For me, as a Christian man, that is an amazing opportunity for me to express love to my Savior & God in a tangible way. That is what The Daughter Project is to me. An expression of my love for God.
I used to philosophize. I used to wonder, what if I had been born in Germany during the Holocaust? Would I have been a Nazi soldier terrorizing and killing Jews in a concentration camp or would I have hidden Jews in my home, at the risk of my life and the life of my family? My answer to that question was always, 'Oh, I would have done the right thing - I would have helped the Jews.' I also would wonder, what if I had been born in the South during the Civil Rights movement? Would I have been a member of the KKK and lynching African Americans or would I have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. at the risk of being arrested or having a cross burned on my front lawn or being assassinated? Again, I would always answer, 'I would have done the right thing and defended the civil rights of my sisters & brothers in the human race.'
I believe God has told me that the time for philosophizing is over. Anyone can easily say what they think they would have done in the past. Now is the time for me to actually show that I will do the right thing. Sex trafficking of adolescents, more correctly called 'child rape for profit' is OUR modern day Holocaust - it is the Holocaust of my time and I cannot live without doing something to help. I invite you and anyone else in the world to join me, to join us. We cannot be neutral. I am either helping the traffickers or I am helping the survivors...
Jeff, TDP Director
'The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.'