Note: This doesn't just pertain to the mission to end sex trafficking, this can be applied to everything in life and it's what we're learning as we go.
Clarity and encouragement can happen at the most unexpected times, but I love it when it does. It happened for me this past Monday. I was going about the business of plowing through my Christmas list at The Eaton Centre. The Eaton Centre is a few city blocks from my media production studio downtown Toronto and is located in Dundas Square which is our equivalent to New York City's Time Square. The mall was busy as everyone bustled around with seemingly the same objective that I had. I stepped into one of my favourite stores looking for something "fly" to put under the Christmas tree for my husband. I was greeted by a very friendly sales clerk who provided me with great service (he even went as far as to lock up my cumbersome packages in a change room so that I could shop without struggling). I ended up looking at t-shirts which was kind of silly considering my husband has a plethora of fantastic tee's from Freedom Culture. I quickly mentioned Freedom Culture to the sales clerk, explained our shop & share business model and our passion to see an end to sex trafficking. He then inquired about the Freedom Culture ring I was wearing and asked if I had any more on me. I always carry them in my purse but he wanted the silver and the only one on me, was the one literally on me! He asked if he could buy it off my finger...heck ya! When he went to grab his money one of the sales clerks that had been standing near by came over and began discussing sex trafficking with me and here is where the encouragement came in. He told me that he'd seen a documentary on sex trafficking but that it left him frustrated because there wasn't anything that he could do about it. This was the moment that all the thinking, planning, and envisioning what Freedom Culture could become, became reality. In that moment. I remember personally feeling the same way he did. I remember hearing the statistics, reading and watching the stories of those victimized and literally becoming distraught because I wanted to be apart of ending sex trafficking but short of jumping on a plane or leaving all that I was involved in to focus on this (which is hard to do, when you have a career, kids, etc., etc.,) I had no idea what to do. What I came up with was Freedom Culture and here was my answer to the sales clerk. I said, " You are absolutely right. Unless you have the means, ability or call to give up everything and change this, get on a plane and fly to Cambodia or even in our own city it can be really hard to make a difference. But, you are going to buy a t-shirt right?" (Of course he responded yes.) then why not buy a stylish t-shirt, that not only looks good but also does good. You're going to be buying them any ways." I saw the light bulb go off in his head, the way it had a year and a half ago when I got this crazy idea to start a for profit company that was compassionate. There are already so many amazing people and organizations that are out there who know where to go, and how to make a difference, they just need the help. Freedom Culture is doing that and with your help we intend to do it in a bigger way. I can't tell you how amazing it was to be "interrupted" in my everyday life to be affirmed that yes Freedom Culture does fill a definite need. It fills the need for those of us, who aren't sure how to help but now we can easily, not to mention it opens up huge doors to raise awareness just by wearing something cool on your finger. Can you tell I'm excited? Thank you all for being apart of this amazing movement from the start. Together we will create a culture where everyone's freedom is valued and secure. I believe it and I pray you do too.
Cheryl and The Freedom Culture Team