What's the story behind CARE 68?

CARE 68 is a dream that's been over a decade in the making.

In 2008, I was introduced to the topic of human trafficking. My efforts to educate myself about it so that I could get my church involved resulted in frustration. Coincidentally (providentially?) a friend on the east coast who had recently become engaged with the issue arranged for me to meet Sandie Morgan who was then the Administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force here in California. This was the beginning of a long friendship as this knowledgeable and experienced woman began to teach, mentor and lead me in a quest to educate and raise awareness about, and ultimately prevent and bring an end to human trafficking.

Fast forward a few years as Sandie, (now Dr. Sandra Morgan) moved on to become the Director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University. I followed, serving on her board and getting my own home church body connected and involved with the issue of human trafficking. Along the way, the Task Force formed a Faith Based Advisory Council (FBAC) in recognition of the fact that many churches in the area wanted to learn, wanted to respond, but didn’t know where to start… just like me at the beginning.

I have experienced the joy (and frustration) of coming alongside churches and assisting them in the goal of determining what their response to the travesty of human trafficking will be. It is about deciding what will work for them… their culture, their population, their resources and their ministry focus. In my own denomination, there are churches all across the country trying to do the same thing. The challenge has been…How do we help them all?

Collaboration is a key to getting things done more efficiently, more expediently and more effectively. How do we connect with others who have the same interests? Awareness is the starting point and essential to building a team and attracting interest. Where does one start? Response is necessary if we are to actually see change. What works and what doesn’t? What helps and what hurts? And education undergirds it all. Without education, we shouldn’t even begin to plan or act.

And that is where CARE 68 comes in. We, the church, are commanded by God to “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) And more and more of us are feeling called to respond with justice, in love, to the issue of human trafficking. This is the place to start. To learn, to question, to discuss, to recruit, to train, to join forces, and to ultimately respond. Collaboration. Awareness. Response. Education. CARE 68 is here to serve you as you serve God by answering the call to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Prov. 31:8) and “…let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)

—Cheryl Pittluck