Awareness In Florence Of Human Trafficking; Foundation Honors First Citizens; Charities Receive Donation

Human Trafficking Awareness

It is a problem for all the nation, but it is also a concern for communities like Florence and that is human trafficking.  The F.A.I.T.H. Project is the work of a group of Florence volunteers that want to end human trafficking.  FAITH is an anachronism for Florence Against Ignoring Trafficked Humans and Ahren Cahoon is the Pastor of Student Ministries at Florence Christian Church.  He says people might not realize that we are in a trafficking corridor

“I-5 and Highway 101 are major human trafficking thoroughfares as it connects Canada to Mexico.”

Cahoon says this why it is essential to get the word out and make people aware that not only is it a pass through but there are segments of our population that are vulnerable.  Many are teens with no permanent home.

“There is a large population of Homeless students in our town and homelessness is according to our district is defined as people that don’t live in a single family dwelling or that live just looking for a spot to have a dry warm bed and some food to eat and so there is risk here.”

Kelsey Larson is a sophomore at Siuslaw High school and she got involved with this program after visiting a camp at Oregon State University where she learned about an app that can help thwart traffickers by alerting police to their locations

“It’s called traffic cam and you take 4 pictures of the hotel room and they get sent off to a database and through that the police and the investigators can match up hotel rooms with the pictures.”

Robyn Smith is a concerned citizen, business owner and youth leader involved in faith

“This does happen…some of the hotel workers that we have spoken to they go ‘oh no that doesn’t happen here’ and yes it does actually and it may not happen in that hotel or their hotel but it does happen in this town.”

Foundation To Honor Future First Citizens

December 6th at city lights cinemas there will be a special showing of a Christmas Story starring Darren McGavin for the support of the endowment in the name of Marteen Wick.  Ron Green with Oregon Pacific Bank along with Lisa Sedlacek and Kay King spearheaded the creation of the foundation to honor future first citizens of Florence.  Wick was the owner of Kitchen Klutter and a former first citizen of Florence.

“What better way to honor her than to create a scholarship fund for the future first citizen as given away to a Siuslaw grad every year.”

The fundraiser according to Kay King is going to be one of the social events of the Christmas season.

“It’s casual, it will be easy to come right after work, 6 o’clock, enjoy a glass of wine and just visit and then go into the theater for the showing.”

Seating is limited for this event there are only 114 seats and they can be purchased at Laurel Bay Gardens and Oregon Pacific bank beginning this today.  Tickets are $30 and all proceeds go to the Marteen Wick Future First Citizen Scholarship Fund.

Charities Benefit From Bank Remodel

Two local charities received news that they will be the recipients of cash awards from Banner Bank.  Upon completion of the Florence branch remodel the local team is donating over $7000 to the Florence Food Share and Peace Health Peace Harbor Medical Center’s foundation for Palliative Care.  The food share which feeds the areas needy will get $2263 and 81 food items from its month long food drive, while the Foundation for Peace Health will get $5000 for its work to aid elderly through Palliative care.