• Red Sand Project Brings Light to Human Trafficking

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    August 21, 2019
    For the month of September, Blackburn Center’s RED SAND PROJECT will be displayed at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, Twin Lakes Park Extension, Westmoreland Hospital, Latrobe Hospital, and Frick Hospital in Greensburg, Latrobe, and Mt. Pleasant.  The Red Sand Project is an art installation, created by artist Molly Gochman, which seeks to raise awareness about human trafficking by asking volunteers across the world to place red sand in the cracks of sidewalks.  The grains of sand represent the millions of victims of human trafficking who slip through the “cracks” of our society and go unnoticed.  Men and women, families, community leaders, professionals, survivors, students, and residents from across Westmoreland County are invited to show support for this cause by helping to place red sand in the cracks of the sidewalks surrounding Westmoreland County Courthouse, Twin Lakes Park Extension, Westmoreland Hospital, Latrobe Hospital, and Frick Hospital. During these dates, everyone is welcome to stop by and view the installation, and show support by posting a picture to social media with #RedSandProjectWestmoreland.  Organized for Westmoreland County by the Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force, this moving event supports the task force’s mission to increase awareness and enhance education about trafficking to decrease the number of lives impacted by human trafficking.  Red Sand Project provides an opportunity for county residents to stand together and shine a light on this covert crime.   
    WHO and WHAT: Community volunteers who are committed to raise awareness of human trafficking by joining in this project.  Everyone is encouraged to participate!  If you are unable to help with the installation of sand, please visit the sites when the art installation is in place and show your support of this project by posting a picture on social media with hashtag #RedSandProjectWestmoreland.
    WHEN and WHERE: Red Sand Project is scheduled to be installed by volunteers on September 7th at 9:00 AM at the Courthouse and Twin Lakes Park Extension, September 9th at 5:00 PM at Westmoreland Hospital, September 16th at 5:00 PM at Latrobe Hospital, and September 23rd at 5:00 PM at Frick Hospital.
    WHY:  Human trafficking is a heinous crime that enslaves an average of 21 million people a year worldwide. Victims are exploited for either sex or labor, sometimes both.  The public, who either do not believe that human trafficking exists or do not know how they can help, often overlooks victims.  Victims fall through the cracks of the system when service providers and the justice system do not recognize the experiences of these victims.  Many victims of human trafficking end up jailed or returning to their traffickers.  Red Sand Project hopes to bring to light these victims, and invites persons from all professions and lifestyles to learn how they can work to eradicate modern-day slavery.   
    HOW:  Contact Renee at 724-837-9540, X 103 if you would like to join in placing the sand.  Snacks and water will be provided to volunteers.  If you are unable to volunteer, but still want to take part, go to any of the sites to view the art installation, and tag your picture with #RedSandProjectWestmoreland.
    The Red Sand Project serves two purposes: it will unite the community in positive action, while bringing awareness to the needs of victims of trafficking, worldwide and right here in Westmoreland County. Please join Blackburn Center and the Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force in taking a stand to end human trafficking.
    Renee Reitz
    724-837-9540 ext 103