- The C.A.R.E. 68 Network helps churches fight human trafficking by providing church-focused resources and a community of peers for collaboration, learning, and inspiration.
- This is a beneficial resource for church workers or members who want to get their church involved in the fight against human trafficking but don’t know where to start.
- Joining this community will give you access to toolkits, resources for best practices, a private online discussion group, connections to peers in your local area, current anti-trafficking news, and upcoming events.
- Churches are in a unique position to be at the front line of our response to this humanitarian crisis because they already have the infrastructure, they know the community, and they are Biblically mandated to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.
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Dave [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. This is episode number 222 – The C.A.R.E. 68 Network.
Production Credits [00:00:08] Produced by Innovate Learning, Maximizing Human Potential.
Dave [00:00:28] Welcome to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. My name is Dave Stachowiak.
Sandie [00:00:34] And my name is Sandie Morgan.
Dave [00:00:36] And this is the show where we empower you to study the issues, be a voice, and make a difference in ending human trafficking. Sandie, I’m looking forward to today’s conversation because we’re going to be learning about the C.A.R.E. 68 Network. And I know virtually nothing about the care 68 network. Other than knowing that it’s kicking off. And I’m so glad we get to welcome a friend of ours, Cheryl Pittluck to the show today. Cheryl is a member of the Global Center for Women and Justice’s Community Advisory Board, and she is the past chair of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force and Faith-Based Action Committee. And she has been a friend and a partner to both of us in the work we’re doing for many years. And we’re so glad to have her on the show today. Hello, Cheryl.
Cheryl [00:01:26] Hi.
Sandie [00:01:27] Hey, I’m so excited about this because Cheryl and I met because someone when I was in Washington, D.C., said there’s a woman in Orange County that you need to meet. So, of course, I love meeting people. And I made arrangements to go and meet that person. And that person didn’t show up, but Cheryl Pittluck did. And Cheryl Pittluck has been showing up ever since in my life. She was a founding member of our community advisory board for the Global Center. And when I became the administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, Cheryl jumped in and became the chair of at that time, a church committee. And eventually, that morphed into a faith-based committee. And the names have changed. Currently, it’s now faith-based action council. Is that right, Cheryl?
Cheryl [00:02:24] Yeah, I started as the faith based advisory council, which was helping the professionals at the task force learn how churches run and how things get done and how we can be more efficient in making use of church resources. And now it’s a faith-based action committee.
Sandie [00:02:44] You have had a lot of experience on the taskforce leading churches. And in fact, you did a webinar for Health and Human Services office as well, is that right?
Cheryl [00:02:57] Yes, it was public and private partnerships. And my part of the webinar was on working with faith-based communities.
Sandie [00:03:08] And let’s just establish right from the front that faith-based communities are an incredible asset. But there have been so many missteps and problems sometimes with communication. And what are some of your major frustrations?
Cheryl [00:03:26] Probably my two major frustrations are, first of all, the churches don’t always play nicely together and convincing them that we can come together to deal with a specific issue or a specific goal, but not necessarily agree on, you know, the particulars of how we run our churches and how we baptize whatever. It’s a little difficult. It’s a little difficult. The other thing is churches often want to invent their own thing and have their own name and their own brand, so to speak. I don’t mean that to sound as maybe as bad as it sounds, but we’re used to doing things our own way. We’re used to knowing what we’re doing. We know how to do a Bible study. We know how to run the service. We know how to do women’s ministry, whatever. Human trafficking is not something that most churches know, and they need to be willing to come in and learn. And that doesn’t always happen, at least in the beginning.
Sandie [00:04:36] So, you and I’ve had this conversation many, many times. And one of our goals out of the Global Center for Women and Justice is to create tools to help people study the issues so that they can be a voice and make a difference in ways that are really helpful. Sometimes we’ve experienced people who want to do things that maybe aren’t very helpful and they’re not intentionally doing things that aren’t helpful. And if we just gave them some resources, we felt like we could help them leverage the amazing resource they really are.
Cheryl [00:05:14] Exactly. I sometimes feel like when I’m going to meet with someone at a church for the first time, I need to wear a t-shirt that says “it doesn’t help, if it doesn’t help” because people, you know, naturally you come up with ideas. “I know! This would be an awesome idea. Let’s do this. Let’s offer them that.” Well, if it’s not what’s needed, then it’s not what’s needed and therefore it’s not helpful. So, we need to help churches understand that there’s a learning curve, that there’s some education that’s involved before they act, before they respond.
Sandie [00:05:56] Okay. So, let’s jump into our Global Center for Women and Justice launch of CARE 68 Network. Tell us about what the title of that network. You’ve been the lead on this project. So, tell us about what the title means.
Cheryl [00:06:13] Well, Care comes from what I felt like were four areas that churches could really use some assistance in as they dive into dealing with the issue of human trafficking, whether they are just planning to do a single event, or wanting to partner with an existing group, or wanting to create a whole ministry in a church. The C would be collaboration, understanding that we can do more together, that it helps to stay informed about what others are doing, and opportunities to engage with others and to support each other. All churches have specific cultures, specific strengths, there are people within those churches that have skills. We need to learn to collaborate. And so, what care 68 wants to do is to help these churches find ways to collaborate. The A is awareness, raising awareness within our church congregations and out in the communities. We want to be able to expand human trafficking awareness to all spheres of influence: our schools, our neighborhoods, our workplaces. And so, we want to provide a guide to opportunities and strategies for raising awareness. And then the R stands for response, that’s what this is about. Churches want to be able to respond that we need to consciously, seriously, prayerfully consider how to respond. And so, we want to help direct them as to how they can best do that. And then the last is E for education. We provide resources and opportunities for education. So, CARE 68 comes from Micah 6:8, “we want to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”
Sandie [00:08:17] Wow. So, that’s a great summary. I know that when this was being proposed, one of our key statements about why and we all know the why is the question we have to answer, right? So, our value proposition, the why, we want to help churches fight human trafficking by providing church focused resources and a community of peers for collaboration, learning, and inspiration. So, I’m really excited about the format because this is online. We started out thinking about what this looks like in Orange County, but we had so many questions from our listeners. You know, the ending human trafficking podcast, Cheryl, now has listeners in 119 countries. So, we decided we need to have a bigger conversation. So, the CARE 68 platform will allow peer collaboration. It’s not just going to be a one-way street from the Global Center to subscribers, but it’s going to allow for the leveraging of the amazing peer opportunities in a social media context. So, I’m really excited about that. One of the things that already I’ve seen in the content that is being uploaded there are toolkits. Can you tell me what a tool kit looks like?
Cheryl [00:09:53] A tool kit is an easy way for our church to respond, raise awareness, educate without actually knowing anything. It’s just what it sounds like, it is a tool kit. When you order a piece of furniture and it comes in the mail, which I just did recently, and it came with all the nuts, the screws, the various pieces, and the instructions so that I could put it together. Even though I’m totally inept at building furniture, I was able to do it, and that’s what these toolkits are. We have a Human Trafficking Basics tool kit, which is an eight-week study that you can take your small group, your Bible study group, your youth group, your men’s groups, your women’s group, whatever through. It provides each week you’ll listen to a podcast, tells you specifically each week which podcast, and then provides questions for discussion. We have a Human Trafficking Prevention tool kit, which is a seven-week study. Prevention is an area that is realistically one of the easier ways that churches can get involved, because often you can take an already existing ministry that’s going on in the church and tweak it just a bit so that it addresses prevention strategies for human trafficking, like children at risk or single mothers or the immigrant community. We have a four-week study on how pornography plays a role in human trafficking. Statistics suggests that pornography use within the church is pretty much the same as outside of the church. I think most people in the church know that pornography is not the will of God. They may possibly know that it affects their Real-Life relationships, but what they don’t know is that pornography is also a fuel for human trafficking.
Sandie [00:11:59] So, what I’m hearing then is that you and your team have curated a lot of the materials out of the podcast. I met a lot of people at our Ensure Justice conference recently who are new to the issue and new to discovering the podcast. And where do I start? And for busy church leaders, they don’t have time to go through everything and figure out how am I going to put this together? So, what CARE 68 does then is curate the materials. So, here’s a set of podcasts to listen to. And I think what I’ve been most impressed with, Cheryl, is how something that we started in collaboration as part of our community advisory board. Dave Stachowiak, Community Advisory Board at GCWJ said let’s do a podcast and I’m like, I don’t know how to do a podcast. But Dave knows how to do a podcast. In fact, if you’re listening and you’ve never checked him out at Coaching for Leaders, you should be doing that. Because learning how to do a podcast, we began to acquire amazing content with interviews with experts in absolutely every field that addresses human trafficking. Well, no single church can bring all of those people to do training for their women’s group that’s starting a human trafficking ministry or their youth group that is a critical factor in prevention in our own country of commercial sexual exploitation of children. So, I’m super excited about the ability to curate materials, put it into a doable tool kit that literally you don’t even have to wait for the mail to bring your kit to your door, Cheryl, you can download it right then. So, tell me a little bit more about the way the Website is laid out.
Cheryl [00:14:15] Well, as the name suggests, we have divided things by collaboration, awareness, response, and education, because churches will come in and say, I just want to raise awareness in my congregation. We’re not even ready to go out and launch something. We just need to raise awareness, or we just want to raise awareness in our community, so they can do the awareness tool kit if they want to. But we’ve also divided all the podcasts up so that when you go to the awareness section, you can see, oh, all of these podcasts- numbers 1, 5, 12, 116, whatever, deal with awareness. And so that’s one way that they can educate themselves about awareness and possible activities. We will have a calendar that will show awareness events that are going on that they can send their people to or possibly even partner with. The same with education possibilities, conferences, the anti-human trafficking certificate that you can get through Vanguard University. All the different education opportunities. And so, we have collaboration, awareness, response, and education. But one of the things you’ve mentioned before is there will be opportunities for people to talk to each other because honestly, one of the best ways churches can learn is from each other. So, they will have an opportunity to pose a question. “What is anybody doing about fair trade? What is anybody doing to raise awareness in their high schools?” And others can respond, and they can share what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.
Sandie [00:16:02] And I love that sharing experience and being in a community of like-minded people. I think we also will have an opportunity to share a lot of the resources that have been collected over the years through the Ensure Justice conference. So, if there was a speaker that you heard about, but you didn’t get to be there, you’ll be able to access that video or audio content through one of the components, either the C.A.R. or E! And if you missed Ensure Justice this year, I closed out with an overview of the five P’s of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership and Policy. And we will make that video available on CARE 68 so that people can begin to have a paradigm, a structure for how they see themselves in the battle to end human trafficking.
Cheryl [00:17:08] The workshops and the plenaries that were offered at Ensure Justice are amazing, amazing resources that we will be adding as soon as possible because these were practical application-oriented workshops and plenaries for people that are working with youth, with children, teachers, parents, caregivers, church youth leaders. It was wonderful. Yes, Ensure Justice is providing a wealth of resources for us.
Sandie [00:17:42] So, for those of you learning about this for the first time, our target audience is church workers or members who want to get their church involved in the fight against human trafficking, but they don’t know where to start. It’s also for those who have already started and want to strengthen their foundation. I think many times churches have really good intentions and they start something, but they didn’t have a plan for how to keep it going. And we want CARE 68 to nurture that community of learners because the church is well-positioned to be a responder in the battle against human trafficking. Many years ago, when I was working in Athens, Greece, I was part of an emergency response team in the area for humanitarian crises. And I was working with someone from the U.N. and they told me that they were really glad I was there. And could I give them kind of a map of where churches were in the region? And I looked at them and I thought, the United Nation wants to know where churches are? And he saw my quizzical face and immediately said, churches are already in place, they have an infrastructure. They know the community; they are well-positioned to be at the front line of our response to this humanitarian crisis. I never forgot that. And I continue to believe that the local church is actually not just well positioned, but cares so much about their local community that they will want to learn how to better be an answer right where they are.
Cheryl [00:19:41] I think that that’s why in the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, a majority of the assistance, the volunteers, the resources comes from the faith-based community, because like you said, they are an already existing group of people that are used to working together. And let’s face it, it’s supposed to be part of our DNA. It’s supposed to be part of our mandate that we are reaching out, coming alongside, and serving those who are in need and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice. And it was actually a member of our law enforcement team at the task force that came up with the idea of Faith-based Advisory Council, which become the Faith-based Action committee. It wasn’t a church member; it was law enforcement because he recognized this is where most of our help is coming from. We need to figure out a way to make it easier for them to raise awareness among the church members and in the church community. So, it’s a natural fit, it’s just helping churches figure out how to do that. And I kind of want to emphasize, again, this network is designed to help churches at multiple levels. If all they’re interested in is doing a once a year event or all they’re interested in is educating their members so that they can be more aware of what’s going on in the community all the way to wanting to put together a full-blown human trafficking ministry in their church. This is what the CARE 68 network is designed to do.
Sandie [00:21:29] One of the things when we first started talking about this, you can remember, is understanding how big this dream is and then taking a step back and trying to figure out the steps to launching this. And one of the first steps you all know is counting the cost. And so, we don’t want to launch something that dies because we don’t have resources. So, we built into the sustainability of this CARE 68 network. We built in a contribution membership so that when you go to CARE 68.org, you’ll be asked to sign up and that’s a $68 a year subscription will provide access to this curated portal that is just for churches. And you will have the opportunity then if you want to help support more, but there won’t be any pressure to do more than that. We just want to make sure that what we start is sustainable and we can support the growth of the CARE 68 network.
Cheryl [00:22:42] The $68 a year is what allows us to provide curated resources. We want to make sure that the calendars and the resources are continually updated. Nothing is more frustrating than going on a Web site and looking at the events calendar and realizing nobody has updated it. And the reason we kept it so low is because we want to make it accessible, even if it’s just a small group in your church that’s interested in this. If it’s just a home group or a women’s ministry, $68 they can manage that.
Sandie [00:23:23] So, this is a community launch and you are part of the community. And we will support each other in this, we will keep the tool kits coming. We’ll leverage our existing resources and develop new resources. We will make sure that there are opportunities for connecting in your region and encourage multiplying your effectiveness and reducing the lost time of replicating the same effort over and over again. So, standby, if you have questions, send a question through this podcast at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are starting something new and we’re going to be in a very steep learning curve and we’re excited to do it with you. Cheryl, do you have any more that you want to say?
Cheryl [00:24:23] CARE 68 network is something that I’ve thought about for a couple of years and talked to Sandie about because I happen to be extremely blessed in that I live in Orange County, where there is not only the Global Center for Women and Justice, but a really wonderful human trafficking task force. As I have spoken at other churches in Southern California and around the country, I’ve discovered most churches don’t have that at their fingertips. Most churches don’t know where to start. And it’s my heart that we would do everything we could to help these churches get involved to do what it is that they’ve been called to do, to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, to Ensure Justice, for those who are being crushed, to speak up for the poor and the helpless and to see that they get justice. This is the mandate; this is what God has called us to do. And I want to make sure that every church has the opportunity, resources, knowledge, and the education to do that. And that’s what CARE 68 Network is designed for.
Dave [00:25:34] Sandie and Cheryl, having learned more about us through this conversation now and knowing a bit about it when we started, it’s just so exciting to see this come together. And so many of us, Sandie, you and I since 2011 have spent a whole lot of time having some wonderful conversations. And yet it is hard as a starting point to figure out if you’re just coming to that conversation for the first time where to begin. And so just two key things I’m hearing in this launch of this community is one is just making it so much easier for churches coming to this conversation for the first time or maybe thinking about this in detail for the first time to have a starting point of studying the issues. But perhaps more important than that is the community aspect of it, of being able to collaborate with other church partnerships here with the Global Center for Women and Justice, Sandie and I, it’s really going to be an exciting and caring community that can really help us all support each other in the next steps of taking the next step on human trafficking and ending human trafficking, of course. And we’re inviting you to take that first step two actions coming out of this conversation today. One is, if you are just coming to this conversation for the first time, perhaps you haven’t yet begun to engage in a community or perhaps you haven’t thought about even engaging a faith-based community. What a wonderful starting point for you is to go over to the Endinghumantrafficking.org Web site. If you hop online and download a copy of Sandie’s book, it’s completely free. It will give you the starting point for ending human trafficking. It is The Five Things You Must Know, A QuickStart Guide to Ending Human Trafficking. It will teach you the five critical things that Sandie has identified that you should know before you join the fight against human trafficking. And you could just go over to endinghumantrafficking.org in order to access that. And then, of course, the invitation, especially if you are part of a faith-based community and you do have the heart to bring more into the next steps with your community and perhaps even as a church community, you are ready to begin this journey with us. We’re inviting you to take a few minutes to go over to CARE 68.org. You’ll find all the details there, the application for the community, and also an opportunity to reach out to us with any questions. And as Sandie mentioned, feedback@Endinghumantrafficking.org is a wonderful place to start for any questions. And of course, the CARE 68.org. Sandie, I’m really excited to see this come together and I can’t wait for the conversations that we’ll all have together as part of this community.
Sandie [00:28:16] Thank you so much, Dave. Thank you, Cheryl, for being so persistent. To follow up and nurture this idea and I am just congratulating you for being the lead in bringing this to fruition.
Dave [00:28:31] We’ll see you all again in two weeks. Thanks, Sandie. Take care.