ATLANTA – With Super Bowl LIII just a week away and the city of Atlanta seeing an influx of visitors over the next week; human trafficking experts believe the problem may be growing with the crowds. But advocates are also stepping up their efforts to identify and help those who may be being trafficked.
“There are a lot of people, especially in the Atlanta area being traffic and because of the Super Bowl coming it’s going to quadruple,” said Teresa Flores, the founder of the Soap Project. “We need to get those girls the number so they now how to get out.”
The Soap Project is an initiative that places bars of soap and wipes with the number to the human trafficking hotline in places where those who are being trafficked may frequent. The project is personal for Flores.
“I’m a survivor and I was left for dead in the motel years ago, “said Teresa Flores the founder of the Soap Project.
Saturday, more than 250 volunteers got together to label and deliver the items to area hotels, motels, emergency rooms, and restaurants. Volunteers like Belinda Majors said every minute of time they donated was well worth it.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to help them prepare for the Super Bowl because we know the incidents of trafficking goes up,” Majors said.
Jacinda Clark agreed saying, “If it only reaches one young lady or one young man, that would make a difference.”
Volunteers said intimate places like the bathroom is where the items will be noticed the most.
“Maybe that’s their opportunity; if they take showers or something to take notice the label with the number on the back,” Deborah Manar said. “I just think that it will be a big help.”
Super Bowl LIII marks the eighth Super Bowl outreach the organization has put together to help rescue human trafficking victims. The group also posts missing person posters and train people at locations they visit on how to spot human trafficking victims.
The Soap Project is still looking for donations and volunteers to deliver soap to area hotels. Click here for more information on how to volunteer.