Heroes

A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two.

When you've got giant energy companies this scared, you must be doing something right. At 3:38, I snorted. Just sayin'. And at 4:43, he explains brilliantly what's in it for you.

For more information on how you can help this amazing nonprofit win, you could go here. And you might want to Like New Era Colorado on Facebook if you want to see their ongoing progress.

UPDATE (9/3/2013, 12 p.m. ET): New Era Colorado Executive Director Stephen Fenberg just emailed me to say: "The response from everyone across the country has been mind-blowing! We're getting a donation EVERY MINUTE. The momentum we're getting from you guys is AMAZING. Please keep sharing this, it's going to make such a huge difference. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER."


UPDATE (9/3/2013, 9 p.m. ET): You guys more than doubled their original fundraising goal. Now they want to take it to the next level. Think you could help them break $100,000?

UPDATE (9/17/2013, 10 p.m. ET): You guys are INCREDIBLE. With a little more than 24 hours left in their campaign, you have managed to raise almost $175,000, and now there's a big donor willing to match dollar for dollar on any donations over the next day to help them reach $200,000. I am kind of freaking out.

Apparently you guys are helping. You complete me. One last favor. Mind sharing and tweeting this? Pretty please?

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Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

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