SISTERS, OR -- Volunteers from the Sisters Rotary are teaming up with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to help victims escape human trafficking.
Rotarian Hal Reitmeier says they'll stuff more than 12,000 envelopes Thursday, with letters and "Freedom" stickers that will then be sent to every Oregon business with an active liquor license. "They are encouraged to place the stickers on the interior of the bathroom doors, or the toilet doors. Those are the areas of privacy where the folks that are caught in this situation are by themselves, and they can see the sticker, which gives them a hotline number which to contact that can assist them in helping them get out of their situation."
According to Reitmeier, the "Freedom" sticker campaign is a joint project with the OLCC and has been successful, but human trafficking is far from being a thing of the past. "It is a major problem here, it's a major problem in the United States, but it's also a problem here locally, in Central Oregon. The [Highway] 97 corridor is a major route for trucking and other traffic, which unfortunately, is being used to convey young ladies that are trapped in situations they can't get out, and they are used for sex trafficking."
Reitmeier says the "Freedom" stickers, provided by the Bend-based nonprofit, In Our Backyard, are written in both English and Spanish, and carry the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as well as other life-saving information.