On November 28th 2011, CVTA received below thank you message from TAT's Kendis Paris:
As this year draws to an end, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) wants to thank each and every one of you who have supported us, whether financially or through handing out wallet cards and other TAT materials, through volunteering at trucking shows, creative input and the production of TAT materials, and by helping to spread TAT's message, either verbally or in writing. Your help and support have been invaluable, and have enabled TAT to make significant progress in its mission of educating, equipping, empowering and mobilizing the trucking industry in the fight against human trafficking.
As you know, the trucking industry has a critical role to play in ending human trafficking. In our evolving relationship with the various members of this huge industry, which literally moves America, we have not only become aware of the myriad issues they face in their jobs, but also, as they become educated about human trafficking, of their desire to do their part in fighting this horrendous evil and seeing victims rescued and rehabilitated.
As you consider making your end-of-the-year donations, we'd like to share with you what your support has enabled TAT to do this year and the implications for the future.
In 2011, TAT spent time casting its vision for the trucking industry in a variety of venues. The vision was caught by individuals as well as corporations and companies, and TAT recorded some significant milestones toward the realization of its vision. We share those with you here:
- To accelerate growth and gain the insight and perspective of members of the trucking industry in a consulting capacity, TAT moved from an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries to its own 501(c)3 organization with a board composed of trucking industry members as well as abolitionists.
- Kendis Paris, a founding member of Chapter 61 Ministries, was named national director of TAT.
- TAT held its first press conference at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in August to introduce the trucker who had made the call which resulted in the rescue of Shari, the human trafficking victim featured on the TAT training DVD. Also introduced were a number of truckers who have become truckers against trafficking.
- TAT made presentations at the first Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition conference, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association conference, the Hear the Cry conference hosted by Freedom Legacy International, the Converse City Council County Chambers meeting; received an award at the first Trucking Social Media Conference; and manned booths at both the Mid-America Trucking Show and the Great American Trucking Show, the industry's two largest annual trucking shows.
- TA Petro and Pilot Flying J, two of the nation's largest travel plaza chains, declared their public support for TAT and began including TAT materials as part of their employee training as well as speaking about TAT to their customer base.
- TAT received publicity in numerous publications this year, especially with the announcements concerning TA Petro and Pilot Flying J. These have included Fleet Owner, The Trucker, Trucker Connection, Land Line, Randall Reilly and many association newsletters as well as multiple interviews on numerous trucker-specific radio shows. The Dave Nemo Show, with popular trucking on-air interviews, has started a monthly series on abolitionism. Target Media Partners also plans to run a series of TAT articles in their publications starting January 2012.
- Carol Cipriano of Carol's Travel Time has planned and is doing a trucker cruise in May 2012 as a fundraiser for TAT. Featured entertainer will be Joey Holiday, a well-known trucking musical celebrity. Trucking sponsors for raffle prizes for the cruise include Tenstreet LLC, TCI, TA Petro, OOIDA and IdleAir.
- The California Trucking Association ordered 4000 DVDs and 80,000 wallet cards to distribute to their 4,000 member contacts. Upon reviewing TAT materials, the Colorado Motor Carrier Association invited TAT to one of its meetings where members of the local travel plaza industry and the Colorado Department of Transportation were present and responded favorably to TAT's message.
- TAT has distributed between 180,000-200,000 wallet cards, over 7000 DVDs, in addition to posters and vent-window decals. People can also download the DVD straight from the TAT website. The DVD was also used to open the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth conference for over 200 law enforcement and judicial members. Wallet cards have recently been translated into Spanish and French and are currently being translated into French Canadian for use in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Requests for these materials come from individual truckers as well as companies and groups fighting human trafficking.
- TAT's social media coordinator has increased our Facebook following to over 2900 fans and our Twitter following to almost 12,000. A company also volunteered its time and created an Android app of TAT's wallet card. It hopes to create an iPhone app as well.
- Polaris Project, which runs the national hotline, reported in early October that they had received 105 calls from truckers from May-September 2011, a significant jump over the 125 calls received from truckers from 2007-May 2011.
- Carriers who have requested TAT materials for training purposes with their employees include C.R. England, U.S. Express, Tango Transport, Danny Herman Trucking, Southern Illinois Express, Groendyke Transport, Navajo, Bridge Terminal Transport and others. The Owner Operator Independent Driver Association also passes out TAT materials in its office.
TAT is regularly contacted by groups, both internationally and nationally, about ways to work together. These include other NGOs (non-governmental organizations), such as Not For Sale, a well-known abolitionist group; Men Against Sex Trafficking (MAST) in Canada; and the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association. Additionally, TAT works with volunteers throughout the nation to distribute its materials and further its message to members of the trucking industry in their local area.
TAT is also working to build partnerships with Taxis on Patrol, a program similar to TAT in so far as it asks taxi drivers to contact police when they see DUIs, hit and runs, etc., in order to have them add human trafficking and the national hotline number to their regular training. Possible intervention work could come out of this. TAT is also in the initial phases of speaking with the Denver Police Department and the Dallas Police Department about using its driver database to work with law enforcement on surveillance and undercover operations. Both of these police departments have been awarded special grants from the FBI to combat human trafficking. With these types of relationships growing, TAT has added to its list of formal goals: partnering with law enforcement to facilitate the investigation of human trafficking.
If you'd like to further TAT's work with a financial gift, you can either donate on our website, www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com, or make checks payable to Truckers Against Trafficking and send to Truckers Against Trafficking, PO Box 816, Englewood, CO, 80151. All donations are tax deductible.
Thank you again for your generous support of this work. We're excited to see who'll come on board and how far TAT will travel in 2012!
TAT National Director