Originally posted November 2010

Last night I attended a reading/fundraiser for a play by Andrew Kooman called “She has a Name“. The event was held at Sunworks in Red Deer and generously sponsored by Sobeys South, The Liquor Crossing, Floral Expressions and corporate sponsor and local businessman Rob Driedger. The reading, performed by the troupe from Burnt Thicket Theatre was very moving and I was struck once again with the importance of supporting the telling of this story.

Human Trafficking is something we all decry, of course. No one in our neighbourhood is about to step up and say, “It’s not that bad; nothing really wrong with it. Live and let live”. However, it seems sometimes that there is a distinct lack of appetite for action. Why is that? Is it that it is just such an uncomfortable topic? Or perhaps we’d have to face the fact that it happens in our own “back yard”? (Google it; you’ll be stunned by the stats on how much human trafficking activity take place in our own nation)

In my estimation, most people don’t do anything because they feel overwhelmed and powerless to have any sort of meaningful impact. Human Traffickers are a very organized, powerful, and ruthless group, to be sure. And we all have our own lives and responsibilities to manage – what can we really do that will make any difference?

I’m  reminded of an old story.

Once there was a young boy who visited a beach just after the tide had gone out. He saw thousands upon thousands of starfish laying in the sand, exposed. He began working feverishly, throwing starfish after starfish back into the water.

An old man came upon him and, chuckling, said, “Son, what is it you think you’re doing?”

The boy replied, “I’m saving the starfish.” The old man turned the boy to look up the length of the shoreline, littered with thousands of starfish.

“Son,” the old man said wearily, “you’re not REALLY ‘saving the starfish’. You can’t possibly even make a dent in this situation. There are far too many to be saved. What difference can you really make? You should just go and play.”

The boy looked down at the starfish in his hand, thought a moment, and then threw it into the water.

“I just made a difference to that one.”

It’s true we have full schedules and there are many needs in the world. It’s true I may not be able to give my life to fighting human trafficking. It’s true I may not single-handedly purge the earth of this scourge.

But I can do something. I can do what I can do, and whatever that is, it makes a difference to someone.

I ask you to support She has a Name so that attention can be brought to the plight of people, many of them children, being trafficked around the world. You can give online at www.burntthicket.com . And save the dates! She has a Name will be performed in Calgary Feb 22 – March 5, 2011, at the Epcor Centre’s Motel, and in Red Deer March 9 – 12 at the Scott Block Theatre.

Thank you, Andrew, and thank you EVERYONE who steps up to make a difference.