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BobbyK

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Review for Not For Sale Fund, Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with so many non-profits over the last twenty years. Honestly? Some good. But many? Just okay. I have always worked for free. Always. Never asked for a dime, ever. Previously? Advertising guy. Fortunate career. Worked with good people. Worked with iconic brands. But nothing prepared me my for my introduction to Not For Sale. Their mission itself was almost too enormous to fully comprehend. I spoke with volunteers. Read years of financial statements and impact reports. Met survivors. Had intense meetings with staff. Asked difficult questions of the founders, perhaps even bordering on “impossible" to answer. Here’s what I learned. If there’s a flaw? It’s that these people are so dedicated and passionate and profoundly committed to ending modern slavery and human trafficking, yet are simply not staffed with enough people who can “talk” to the world about it. Why? Because they're all working night and day to “fix” the slavery and trafficking parts. Is this a flaw? Is not being able to respond to everyone who asks questions, a “flaw?” Well. In the modern world? Yes. Not For Sale is run like a lean, stealthy strike team with almost zero funding. It is not unusual for the founders to attempt to return calls personally. I watched as one of them took a moment to call a woman who has been donating $5 a month since their inception some 8 years ago. Apparently, they realized they may have sent her more than one email regarding her donation. He slipped out and called her, personally. If they could? They’d talk to every single human that reaches out to them. I know these people. It pains them that they aren’t big enough to focus more on personal communication. But the truth? They simply can’t. And now they’re at a crossroad. They’ve learned so much in the last eight years. Touched so many vulnerable lives. Become a force standing behind so many invisible victims. Another important thing I learned? They don’t just throw money at problems. 30 million people are affected by slavery and human trafficking today. More than any time in history. And not just in a few places. Everywhere. Lives are being stolen every minute. So years ago? These people decided to choose action, over hope. To convert their own personal outrage into a chance at freedom for a few individuals at a time. They couldn't save 30 million people at once. So they did something different. They created a circle. First? They rescue and protect victims, providing them with healthcare, safety and stability. Then? They offer education, life skills and job training. Lastly? They complete the circle by helping these people connect to lifelong, dignified employment. Like I said? Never seen anything like this. It’s a huge idea. And more often than not? It works. They’re helping more and more trapped, otherwise forgotten people, create their own amazing stories every day. A few hundred here. A few hundred there. But the cool thing? It’s actually “Scalable.” The more funds they bring in? The more people they can help. The model actually works. It just needs more support. And way more awareness. I can’t tell you what to think? All I can do is share with you the simple equation that hooked me. Amazing people, plus an amazing mission? Equals “How can I help?” Please know up front and with full disclosure? I’m a volunteer advisor to Not For Sale. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I am the world’s biggest cynic. Trust does not come easy for me. And I’m growing more impressed by Not For Sale every day. One more thing? One of those “impossible” questions I asked the founders? “Would you ever consider helping an evil trafficker, if they came to you wanting to get out of the business?” Both answered simultaneously. “Absolutely. We already have. Problems don't go away by turning your back.” I was shocked. And I was in.

Role:  Advisor