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A Letter from the Allies Board

Thank you for reading this letter and for the many ways that you support, serve, invest and encourage our team and work. You are essential to the ongoing effort to identify the most vulnerable in our society, extract them from the control and influence of human trafficking, and connect them to the appropriate care.

This is the 10th year in the life of Allies Against Slavery. In the face of many challenges, it was a life-giving year as we were able to impact more organizations and individuals than in any previous year. We are grateful for and humbled by that impact. But it is not the quantity of the impact that stood out to me this year, it was the quality and consistency of that impact. Our work continued to confirm a principle we attempt to apply: real progress without change is simply unrealistic.

As 2020 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on a recurring theme: the connection between strength and vulnerability. These qualities might appear in opposition at first glance, but they actually go hand and hand, particularly in our work. If we are aligned as individuals, we are a stronger and more resilient team which allows us to work through our individual vulnerabilities while growing more compassionate, more cooperative, more creative, and more consistent together.

We are all vulnerable to many things in our world that are out of our control. But this also reveals our strength, as we rise to meet the challenges, adapt, and persevere. Our work at Allies Against Slavery is no different. Though susceptible to many different social, political, economic, and human factors, we have been remarkably steadfast.

It’s a pattern I’ve seen play out again and again but never more vividly than in the past year. The myriad challenges of 2020 exposed our vulnerabilities in new and hard ways. But, more than anything, they have also revealed our ability to survive and even thrive in the midst of challenges. I have seen this in the adaptability of our staff – to new schedules, new protocols, new partnerships, new ways of interacting with each other and our partners. All this is in service of unwavering loyalty toward elevating freedom and dignity in the individual lives of those who we so deeply want to experience freedom.  

That commitment resulted in the following outcomes this year:

  • Lighthouse is now used by 600 direct service professionals across Texas at 64 licensed partner organizations.
  • We are especially grateful that since May, over 1670 children and youth have been screened with Lighthouse and connected to the proper care as a result of our work with partners.
  • With the Office of the Texas Governor, we expanded Lighthouse to give leaders first-of-a-kind capabilities to aggregate statewide data, trends, and insights to help them combat human trafficking. 
  • We continued to develop the depth and quality of our strategic partnerships, including the Dropbox Foundation, the Texas Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, AnnieCannons, and the WestCoast Children’s Clinic. These partners have been determinant in the impact we have been able to achieve this year.
  • We strengthened communities’ capacity to respond to trafficking, connecting with more front-line stakeholders through the increased utilization of Lighthouse and on-going training.
  • We continued making critical financial and technology investments into Lighthouse to ensure it’s a best-in-class solution for the field.

We’re excited to announce that the Board of Directors have committed to a matching donation of up to $10,000 for all contributions made by the end of the year. We hope this will encourage you to give to our important work. Please know we consider it a privilege to be in a position to match donor funds in this way.

As a reminder, we have the capacity to process non-cash gifts such as stocks, real estate, and business interests. Please reach out to John Nehme, our CEO at john@alliesagainstslavery.org or Torey Tipton, our Managing Director at torey@alliesagainstslavery.org to discuss these options if you are interested.

We are mindful of you all during this very challenging season of history and are daily thankful for your continued support and advocacy. We hope the very best for you and yours!

With gratitude,

Kyle McDaniel, Board Chair, for the entire Allies team 

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