4 years ago, I lived in a really nice, brand new apartment in South End Charlotte – just a few blocks away from one of the wealthiest streets in the city. I actually worked at this apartment complex as a leasing agent. We ran background and credit checks to ensure that we had top-notch residents occupying this new beautiful community. One resident in particular was a beautiful young Mom who ran a photography business. She was looking for a 2 bedroom with a den (no windows) so that she could set up for her photoshoots. We hit it off while I was giving her a tour, and I actually leased her a spacious floorpan just 3 doors down from me. A few months went by, and I noticed several other young ladies rotating through her apartment. Models, I assumed? Next, I found myself on the elevator with different men, one after the other, all different looks – business men, older men, rough looking men, young and eager men – all getting off on my floor and going to her apartment. I brought this to the attention of my manager, and we decided to do an unannounced “emergency maintenance” check on this apartment. What we found confirmed our suspicions… the “photography den” had only one thing in the room… a bare mattress in the middle of the floor. My heart dropped. How did I miss this? How did she pass the background check? How have I lived beside this girl for months – not knowing such a crime was going on right under my nose! We alerted the authorities, but it’s not as easy to bust these types of crimes as TV shows make it look. While they worked to try and catch her, we saw more men and more YOUNG women cycle through her apartment. One young girl even had her Mom drop her off and wait for her outside. When we approached the Mom, she was genuinely clueless – she thought we were a retail building and that her young daughter was inside for a job interview with a boutique. (Possibly how they advertised it – then entice them LOTS of money for a different job.) The resident must have caught on that the authorities were doing some digging, and within just a few weeks, she was gone.
I still get sick to my stomach when I think about that season of my life. How I watched something so shocking happen right before my eyes, yet felt powerless to bring any change. I thought this kind of thing only happened in the dark shadows of other major cities and third-world countries. Not mine. But it does. It happens all around us – even in broad daylight – right under our noses. Then to watch her disappear – without justice, and without any hope for these victims….I knew I had to do something!
So since the first month of my business, I have committed a percentage of my paycheck to support Justice Ministries in their efforts to combat human trafficking right here in Charlotte, NC. They focus on rescuing these women, providing shelter and a transition back to independence, while sharing the redemptive love of Christ to bring true healing to their lives.
But here’s the cool part – I got paid yesterday. And while my donation percentage has not increased, the amount I am able to give has…dramatically. By doing the same amount of work each month, sharing these amazing products with everyone I know, and empowering others to do the same… I am able to grow an income that increases month after month, allowing me to give more and more to causes that are important to me.
The average pay raise in 2018 in Corporate America is expected to be about 3%. I’m sorry – but that % is not going to allow anyone to make a difference without compromising another area of needed income. Sure – we could all decide to give more, but that would mean that something else gets less. Not with my business though. More just means more.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. 🙂 If you support my business – THANK YOU! YOU are making a difference by helping us rescue more women from this heinous crime. And if you’re ready to see what kind of impact you can make with this business, let’s connect. The world needs more movers and shakers, and I would be honored to share how this business as empowered me to do MORE!
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