It’s a harsh reality that between 3,000 and 8,000 women experience in San Diego each year, but sex trafficking has become a topic that celebrities and politicians alike are starting to address and rally against, making it an issue that people are now doing something about.
One of the premier organizations for helping victims of sex trafficking in San Diego is GenerateHope, which has been a safe haven for 10 years to women who are victims. This life saving organization was started by Susan Munsey, a victim herself. She was nominated for a CNN Hero award for her life changing work last year. “We’re so excited to be celebrating 10 years of survivor partnership in recovery at our upcoming 2019 Love40 Challenge: Legacy of Hope Gala! What better way to spend ten years than reaching out to others and walking beside them in their recovery journey?”
You can make a difference by supporting this incredible event on Saturday, October 5 at 5:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego. The evening will feature a cocktail hour, silent auction, fine dining, a live auction featuring getaways to Sayulita, Catalina, and the U.S Open, including the Billie Jean King Suite, and much more. An inspiring program will feature Monica Dean, NBC 7 Anchor, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and one of the recent graduates sharing her encouraging story. Tickets are $150 for general admission and $250 for patron tickets. All proceeds empower more Love40 comeback stories for survivors of sex trafficking here in San Diego. For reservations, go to GenerateHope.org/love40rsvp.
The issue hits close to home with FBI statistics showing that San Diego is in the top eight cities for high intensity commercial sexual exploitation, with sex trafficking comprising the second largest underground economy, with an estimated $810 million in annual revenues, after drug trafficking. This year’s Legacy of Hope gala will honor the past progress and look to future endeavors for effecting a change in this growing epidemic. More than 50 volunteers have worked tirelessly to put together this event, doing everything from writing calligraphy addressed envelopes, soliciting auction items and coordinating logistics.
GenerateHope operates two homes in San Diego County, which were donated and refurbished by volunteers, that have helped more than 110 women. The program offers an intensive, non-denominational, faith-based program for helping girls and women of all ages deal with a host of physical and emotional needs, like low self-worth, anxiety and trauma, that result from sex trafficking. The program allows the women to live in the homes as they progress through the stages of the program, generally staying two to three years.
The Love40 Challenge was dreamed up by Ros Nideffer, two-time French Open Doubles Champion, three years ago as a supporter of GenerateHope. Her analogy is when someone is serving in a tennis match and they’re down Love-40, they are on the brink of defeat – they have zero points and their opponent only needs one more point to win. When someone makes a comeback from that, it’s unbelievable. The name honors the inspiring and courageous comeback stories of survivors who are so close to losing the fight, but through hope, strength, and determination, they overcome.
The program reports that this has been an especially exciting year with graduations, transitions and new opportunities to help others. Reflecting on 10 years of making a difference, Munsey says, “It is rewarding to see these amazing women transition into independence, careers and a different life, with a whole new chapter of possibilities.”