Local 21 Members Unite against Human Trafficking

Tiffany Ip, a Local 21 Engineer who works at SFO, heard about a fundraiser to support Human Trafficking victims and knew she had to get involved. 

Tiffany Ip and Chris McManus walking in the SFO Human Trafficking Fundraiser

Local 21: Can you tell us more about the event?

Tiffany: On February 3, 2015, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hosted an awareness event and fundraiser titled “SFO Unites Against Human Trafficking”.  Since eighty percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls; in a show of solidarity, the walk was comprised of mostly men while everyone pledged their financial support.  The event concluded with a reception held in the Aviation Museum during which the Airport Director, the Founder and Executive Director of Freedom House(1) and a human trafficking survivor spoke.

SFO teamed up with Freedom House during Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January 11-February 12) to raise money for this important cause. 

Our team, the Airport’s Design & Construction team, raised over $4,000 for the event and received the award for the “Team That Raised the Most Money”!

Local 21: How did you get involved in the event?

Tiffany: I helped organize the overall group.  I received positive feedback from people who wanted to participate in the event and thought that a combined group from Design & Construction would not only be more efficient, but also a great way to bolster morale and team spirit.

I am also a member of one of SFO’s Reaching for Number One Committees titled Motivating Volunteer Participation (MVP).  The MVP Committee organized and hosted the event.

Local 21: Is it true that your group was the largest group participating in the event?

Tiffany:Absolutely! Our team numbered 25, of which 21 are Local 21 members.

Local 21: Is there anything you want other Local 21 members to know about Human Trafficking or Freedom House?

Tiffany:An estimated 27 million people in the world live in slavery. Human trafficking, the illegal trade of human beings for exploitation or forced labor, is the second largest international crime – an industry that generates profits of $32 billion a year.

Though most people believe that human trafficking is abolished in this country, there are more slaves now in this country than at any point in history. Around 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year. The SF Bay Area, our own backyard, is a major hub.

(1)Proceeds from the event benefit Freedom House, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare.  In August 2010, Freedom House launched The Monarch, the first safe house in Northern California for adult female survivors of human trafficking.   The Nest, its residential shelter for minors, is located in Santa Clara County.

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Freedom House works closely with law enforcement and community partners to identify survivors of human trafficking, and to provide them with the care and services they need to rebuild their lives. Through their innovative aftercare model, Freedom House is breaking the cycle of exploitation and creating new futures for survivors.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to fight human trafficking.