The Ohio Dominican University campus community joined Central Ohio Catholic high school students on Saturday, Jan. 26 to support victims of human trafficking and homelessness. ODU hosted “Not for Sale: Coming Together to End Human Trafficking” in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month and in support of the University’s 2018-19 academic theme of “Justice.”
During the event, participants donated more than 150 new sweatshirts, packaged 50 food and hygiene kits, created 10 fleece blankets, and donated 50 $5 gift cards to McDonalds. Students at St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus also presented a check for nearly $1,500 to support the ministry of Sr. Nadine Buchanan, OP, a Dominican Sister of Peace and advocate for victims of human trafficking and homelessness.
“It was wonderful to watch our campus community come together with students from our local Catholic high schools as they worked to put their passion for social justice into action,” said Andy White, director of Student Involvement at ODU. “The amazing results of this event clearly show the kind of profound impact we can have as a community when we step up and heed the call to serve.”
The project was initiated after a group of students from William V. Fisher Catholic High School in Lancaster, Ohio presented the idea during a service project competition during ODU’s Catholic High School Day last spring. During the competition, students worked together to identify a project that benefited a particular organization or individuals in need in the community. A panel of judges from ODU named the Fisher High School group the winner, and awarded them $1,000 to help turn their proposal into reality. That award money went toward materials and items donated during the event.
In addition to collecting and packaging items, attendees also had an opportunity to hear a presentation by April Thacker, a survivor of human trafficking.