I had no idea human trafficking was happening in my own community until GO:61 team members gave a presentation at my church. Since that presentation, I’ve attended several trainings and meetings and have learned so much from this organization. They are not trying to put a bandaid on the human trafficking problem; they’re trying to fix it from the inside out. They are raising awareness, educating the community, working with law enforcement and government agencies, and serving and restoring the victims of trafficking. They have a vision for a world without slavery, and a passion that is undeniable!
I am a 48yr of age survivor of human trafficking. I was kidnapped by my birth mother at the age of eight and sold to men for sex. This went on for three years. The first man who bought me turned me into a drug addict by injecting heroin in me so I wouldn't scream while he raped me. When I turned twelve I hit the streets of Columbus Ohio working as a prostitute for whatever boy would show me attention. At the age of thirteen I had my first daughter who was addicted to heroin and crack. The state took my child and I was left in despair. At fourteen I kicked my heroin habit but was heavily addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol. At eighteen I came across my first real life pimp. He friended me, told me he loved me and even helped me kick my cocaine habit. He got me off the streets only to place me in underground brothels across America. I would call the brothel, make a booking, travel and sell my body twenty four hours a day seven days a week for two weeks to six months at a time. After a year of this I decided I was going to leave only to run back to my original abuser, my mother. I left Columbus Ohio to go home to Springfield MO and thought I was safe. My pimp found me though and took me back to Columbus where he beat me with a billy club for hours. I almost died. I escaped him by jumping out of a second story window and crawling naked two blocks to a seven eleven convenience store. I received help and eventually went back home to my mother. I soon learned of a local massage parlor and went to work there. Soon after I met my third abuser and married him. He didn't get me out of prostitution. He would drop me off and pick me up six days a week. I even had to work on my wedding night. For fifteen years I was married to this monster. In our eleventh year he was so mentally and emotionally abusive he locked me in a basement. In our thirteenth year he hit me for the first time and I fought back cutting him in his throat. I don't know how it happened but I eventually talked him into letting me go and again I went back home to Springfield. It was at this time I had a nervous breakdown. I was eventually placed on fifteen different kinds of medications and placed in a society I knew nothing about. Two years later my husband passed away and I was a full fledge junkie again. I supported my habit by doing the only thing I knew how to do, sell my body. I worked residential neighborhoods in Springfield where predators were a plenty. At 34 yrs of age I went to prison for the first time. Still not receiving any kind of help I was sentenced to eight years, doing four. After being released I went back to using drugs and selling myself. This time on the internet site Backpage.com. For four years I worked many cities such as Springfield, St Louis, Joplin, Columbia and Branson. I was tired and in my heart all I wanted was help. That is when I googled prostitution advocacy in Springfield MO and came across Go:61. I remember calling and talking with Casey a few times but I was always high. I was shocked that there were people out there who actually cared about my kind. For a year I called her several times and even though I didn't receive immediate action from them, they touched my soul and I knew that I could do this. Get out of prostitution for good. After my first time in prison I went back four more times. The last time was February 6th, 2017. In prison I received behavior modification treatment for four months. I was released to a year long recovery program in Springfield MO. I arrived here November 8th, 2017. After arriving it came to me to call Go:61 and say hi. During the conversation I informed Casey how I was doing and asked if I could volunteer in any way. She said that she would be happy to have me and I've been with them since. Thanks to Go:61 and my year long recovery program I have been clean, sober and free of prostitution since February 6th, 2016. I have a job and a car and will be attending college next year. I want to thank all who are contributing to the abolishment of human trafficking. I am a survivor.
We think you are amazing, Melissa! We're blessed to know you and are so proud of your accomplishments. You give hope to so many others!
I have never met a more passionate group of people with one mission in mind - end human trafficking. I became involved with GO:61 right before my senior year of college. Before this, trafficking was only something I had heard of through the media. My interest had peaked in this line of work which is why I reached out to the organization. I traveled from Kansas to Missouri for a summer to learn more about GO:61, the type of work they did, and the heart wrenching topic of trafficking. I attended my first training to become a volunteer and was changed from the information presented by the director. My experience with GO:61 has been eye-opening and nothing short of amazing while meeting AWESOME people along the way. I stretched my myself in ways that I did not know I was capable of and would not trade the experience for anything. I was inspired from the dedication that each and every volunteer put forth to carry out the mission of the organization through ministry, education, and victim services. Do not be hesitant to learn more about trafficking and the ways you can contribute to end it! You will not regret volunteering through GO:61!
Thank you! We loved working with you and getting to know you!
I teach self defense and am the owner of Inside Defense. I’ve done some work with Casey and other volunteers teaching them basic principles because they find themselves in dangerous places. A lot of people in this area truly do not know the extent to which human trafficking takes places. Fortunately Casey does and has made it her mission to do something about it in the proper channels.
Your support and friendship is very much appreciated, Chad!
Go:61 is making such a difference,
bringing awareness to sex trafficking,
and providing support and help to those who have been affected.
I love that GO:61 was inspired by Isaiah 61,
and that they live this message everyday,
bringing hope to the oppressed and the downtrodden.
If you're looking for a way to make a difference in your community,
GO:61 is a great way to get involved.
Thank you for walking beside us in this journey!
I became involved with GO:61 after the first Liberty Conference where I learned the magnitude of the Trafficking problem in our own state of Missouri. I was impressed right away that such a young organization was run with such wisdom and accountability. I have completed the training course and participate in the ongoing training for volunteers. I am currently the Southeast MO represetative and look forward to spreading HOPE to my side of the state. #endslavery
We love working with you - thank you!
As a board member, it is amazing to see this team work together reclaiming lives in our community.
I have worked with Go61 and Casey for several years now, serving as both a Board member and Advisor. I love Casey's passion to help people enslaved by trafficking, and to end it. Casey is passionate, knowledgeable and committed. She is an inspiration to serve alongside. She has built an excellent organization that is serving to make our city, and this region, a better place to live and a safer place for people. I'm thankful for the work of Go61.
We appreciate your wisdom and partnership - thank you!
I have been a volunteer for 2 1/2yrs and have seen way more than I ever thought went on in our location. I didn’t even know trafficking existed in the US, until I went to training, started getting out in the community and listening to people’s testimonies, and working one on one with survivors. GO61 is providing hope for those who feel they have no hope. They’re providing education so that people in the community can understand it and take a stand for those who have no voice. The hard work continues, along with the continuous prayers going up for all those hurting every minute of their day. Thank you, GO61, for making a huge impact on my life!
I have watched go61 develop from a dream in the heart of this humble servant, Casey, to becoming an amazing reality that is reaching out and changing lives! The passion and drive that starts in the leadership, and spreads throughout each staff member and volunteer, is going to impact our community in a huge and positive way. I encourage everyone to get behind them in their work, both financially and through volunteering. I have personally sat through their training and consider it an incredible asset to the work I am personally involved in. I’m so excited to see the growth and future impact as they continue to work in our area and beyond!
Working with trafficking is hard work, but the GO:61 team approach this issue with grace, humility, and a strong will to make a difference. Training was eye-opening and life changing for me in many ways; not only realizing what was going on in my community, but realizing my own prejudices and judgmental attitudes pushed me to a deeper understanding of the love of Jesus and how he loves the overlooked and broken. Being involved in this group was such a positive experience (I have pulled back from active volunteering when we welcomed our first foster son) The volunteer outreaches I was able to go on were well thought out and executed.
I was introduced to G061 through their social media presence. The information they shared, and the passion with which they shared it, immediately drew me into their mission. Exposing the exploitation of the weak in our own community. Sex trafficking, prostitution, and other predatory industries are going unchecked all around us and GO61 is a strong arm and voice against these injustices. I have donated to this organization, attended conferences, attended training sessions, and have now become an official team member after watching them operate for over 2 years. I have been so encouraged with their work and heart for the community. This is a very effective place for your funds and resources to go to.
The first time I went to a go61 meeting completely changed how I viewed prostitution. It helped me see them for what they are. People like you and me who are hurt and taken advantage of. I have moved on in life and am now trying to educate others about human trafficking and restoration.
Thank you! Your participation in our classes and continued relationship means the world!
I had the pleasure of volunteering with this group a while back and I must say I was very impressed. The members that I interacted with were some of the most caring people I've ever met. Great organization!
Thank you! We loved serving with you!
I met Casey years ago and she shared her passion for educating and raising awareness in our community about human trafficking, working with authorities to release captives in human trafficking situations and restoring them back into a healthy community while sharing their value in Christ. As I served on the board for a couple of years, I saw Casey and the team radically serve, giving fully of themselves daily. While they have seen so many success stories, they are aware of the magnitude of this issue and will continue to serve faithfully. I’m so proud of GO61 and the positive impact they are making in Southwest Missouri. If you have interest in helping abolish slavery, please contact GO61 to get training and help volunteer.
Thank you! We value you very much!
The first time I met Casey Alvarez, and introduced to GO:61, was at a ladies tea where she educated us on the real life perils and Horrors of Human/Child Sex Trafficking. At that first encounter I was moved to volunteer to Raise awareness and funds by simply wearing the same outfit for 30 continuous days.
Casey's training sessions are well worth attending.
Increase your awareness.
Train more... and serve with all your heart.
I am convinced,
You will make a difference.
Thank you! You created an innovative way to raise funds and spread awareness - great job!
I give monthly to GO 61 as well as attend their events and training meetings. I am passionate about abolition of sexual slavery. I have great confidence in the leadership, having watched how God has led them, anointed them, grown them, and blessed them with success, one step at a time.
Thank you! We deeply appreciate your support, friendship, and love serving with you!
GO:61 is a much needed outreach located in Springfield, MO! The data showing how many people are being enslaved in trafficking is staggering - and those are only the individuals being found and rescued. Our women's ministry hosted Beth from GO:61 as a speaker so we could become better informed, but our entire church got behind us and stuffed an SUV full of hygiene and other supplies to do what we could to help their efforts in our own community.
GO:61 operates in integrity and I highly encourage others to see what they can do to help.
If we all do something, we'll chip away at this terrible injustice!
Thank you! Your engagement and support are appreciated so much!
Go:61 is an amazing organization. They provide assistance to people who have been affected by human trafficking and also to people who are at risk of being trafficked. They also provide education and training to individuals, churches, businesses, colleges, the legislature and more. I was fortunate to attend three trainings taught by Casey Alverez, founder of GO:61. She is knowledgeable and passionate and she truly cares for the people affected by trafficking. The other volunteers of GO:61 are amazing, as well. They are doing God's work to help people that society had deemed unworthy or unimportant. The work that they all do is truly amazing. We need more people like this in every community.
A little over a year ago I was introduced to GO:61, and I was so naive about what was happening in the world. I never imagined there were people being sold and living a life of slavery here in the city of Springfield. My heart was broken from my past, but God has used GO:61 to break my heart in a different way to help those who are also hurting. So far I have attended a condensed training class, a meeting, and a get together. I feel God leading me and telling me just to go and do something to help. Even though it’s heart breaking and uncomfortable at times I can see how GO:61 has helped victims, how passionate they are, and how much they are willing to fight for freedom. The education and encouragement that GO:61 gives fuels rescues, and makes volunteering more like joining a caring community. I look forward to seeing what this new year will bring, and how many lives will be changed for the better.
Go:61 has accomplished more in its infancy than many long-term non-profits do in a lifetime. Even now, God is expanding the influence of Go:61 from southwest Missouri to statewide in the Missouri legislature. Casey's testimony before a Missouri House legislative committee regarding human trafficking was recently quoted by the Associated Press. Casey and her team's compassion for human trafficking victims plus the knowledge they bring to the table regarding the issue have opened eyes and hearts, expanded awareness, and touched the hearts of those caught in trafficking. Go:61's influence has only just begun!
Thank you for the kind review!