ATA safety council donates $2,500 to human trafficking victims group
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Posted by: Ford Boswell
The Alabama Trucking Association Fleet Safety & Maintenance Management Council (SMMC) recently donated to $2,500 to the The WellHouse, a nonprofit, faith-based organization devoted to the rescue and recovery of sexually exploited women.
SMMC, which is composed of fleet managers other industry employees who work for Association member firms, made the donation at its recent Christmas Banquet and Officer Election held Dec 14 in Birmingham.
Each year, SMMC officials choose a local charity to support financially. Donations are made to the group’s Benevolent Fund collectively by ATA member firms. Since its inception in 2012, the SMMC has donated more than $15,000 to various charities throughout the Birmingham area, including The Lakeshore Foundation, The Firehouse Shelter, and Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama.
In early 2015, ATA joined the national human trafficking awareness group Truckers Against Trafficking, which works to enlist members of the trucking industry to train drivers to recognize human trafficking and report what they see to law enforcement. More than 1,500 Alabama drivers have already been trained through the program, and the numbers are growing weekly.
Through their work with TAT, Association officials learned of The WellHouse founder Tajuan McCarty, who herself was a victim of human trafficking, and invited her to deliver the keynote address at the group’s Christmas Banquet. The WellHouse serves victims of sex trafficking across the southeastern U.S., providing shelter, food, clothing, spiritual guidance and other necessary support.
“Ms. McCarty’s own story of redemption dovetails with our Association’s recent involvement with TAT,” said ATA spokesman Ford Boswell. “She didn’t gloss anything over during her presentation. Her unvarnished message to our group was honest and demonstrated how our Association can change the course many lives through our efforts with TAT. Human trafficking is not a pretty topic, but we have an excellent opportunity to assist in the struggle to save people trapped in that dangerous world. Some view prostitution a victimless crime, but the reality is that many, if not most, are forced into forced into it – sadly many of them are children.”