Written by Eryn Hawks, SLC Volunteer


Last week, my friend and I sat down at the beginning of the New Year and wrote out our “2017 Bucket List.” Some of the things on our lists were silly and others were more serious goals and aspirations…but when we were done, we found ourselves excited and hopeful for what 2017 may bring. We felt rejuvenated and motivated.

Most of us can relate with this feeling of hopefulness of a New Year. January marks the time when we hit the gym again or start eating better (however long it lasts). But it occurs to me as I write this that not everyone is able to hope for new beginnings.

I am blessed to have the freedom to dream, hope, and create aspirations for my year. Even if I fall off the bandwagon with some of my resolutions, (Let’s be honest…I have yet to hit the gym!) it is because I made the decision not to continue. I have the freedom of choice.

I am struck by the fact that National Human Trafficking Awareness month lands in the month of new beginnings. What better time for us to bring awareness and take action for those who don’t have the hope or freedom of choice that we often take for granted?

In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness month, Second Life is holding its 6th annual “Unite. Wear White.” event. We invite you to join us and hear the story of Margeaux Gray, a survivor of trafficking who has experienced this second life firsthand, and is now an advocate and speaker. This event will be held at 9:45 a.m. on January 27, at the Double Tree in downtown Chattanooga.

As you continue to make decisions about what you want for yourself in 2017, take a moment to come out and celebrate one survivor’s story. You may leave with a new resolve to help others find their own freedom this year.

We hope to see you there! And don’t forget to wear something white!