Cupcakes Can Change The World

Yes, you read the title correctly. Cupcakes can change the world, but that requires two important components, which I will get to later. Today, May 13, 2017, is World Fair Trade Day, a day in which agents for change from around the world join together to promote and mark their commitment to fair trade. This is a topic that we at Free To Run visit periodically, as the power of consumer purchasing has been proven capable of creating change. Socially conscious, or ethical, consumerism is a concept that sees consumers making choices to support positive values, from animal rights, to the environment, to human trafficking. Read more of this post

Free To Run’s Newest Ambassador

Our team of Ambassadors continues to expand, as this month we welcome Aelea Semenowich as our newest Ambassador. Aelea hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is a professional baker and blogger, but first and foremost, she is a humanitarian and abolitionist. On her website, Love Inspires Change, Aelea covers a variety of topics, such as baking, traveling and lifestyle. She has participated in several humanitarian mission trips, and previously was a fellow at Not For Sale. Aelea first came to Troy in August 2012 for the Not For Sale Tour, and will be back in Troy for our Social Justice Summit on January 28, 2017. We are thrilled to have Aelea as part of our team!

Aelea

Follow Aelea on Twitter or Instagram

UNCHAINED Fashion Show Casting Call – December 14, 2016

We are bringing UNCHAINED back to Troy for a fashion show that will be part of a social justice awareness event on January 28, 2017. Since the last fashion show in Troy in September 2015, UNCHAINED has a new collection, and will need up to 30 females to participate in this show. No modeling experience necessary, just a passion for social justice.

When: Wednesday, December 14, 5:30 p.m.

Where: First Place Christian Center, 16 W. Franklin St, Troy, OH 45373 (enter through Franklin St. entrance)

What: An open casting call to be a model in an UNCHAINED fashion show on January 28 in Troy. If possible, bring high heels to the casting call.

Who: Females of all ages, but given the sensitive topic of human trafficking, a suggested minimum age of 10 or above.

Why: To raise awareness of human trafficking, to join a movement, and to make a difference.

If you have questions, feel free to email UNCHAINED at unchainedfashionshow@gmail.com.

One of the models at the September 2015 show

One of the models at the September 2015 show

World Race for Hope Troy 5k & Virtual Race – 1/1/2017

Registration is open for the 10th annual 5k charity run/walk in Troy, Ohio on New Year’s Day. Start off the year on the right foot by running or walking for a purpose, to raise awareness for the 2nd largest criminal industry globally, human trafficking. Proceeds from the event support Free To Run’s programs and our Dayton-area charity partners, Abolition Ohio and Oasis House. Register by 11/30 to be guaranteed a fair trade shirt.

https://runsignup.com/worldraceforhopetroy

If you live outside of the Dayton area, you can still support the cause by participating in our virtual race. You can run or walk 5 km anytime and anywhere you want between January 1st and February 1st. Registration for the virtual race is free, but you can choose to get a shirt by mail for $15. The virtual race is intended to spread awareness so when you participate, share on social media, with or without a picture, using the hashtag #virtualrace2endslavery.

Fall is for Fair Trade

Here in the Midwest of the United States, we are witnessing the dramatic transition of seasons, with leaves turning colors and cooler temperatures. October means the arrival of Fall, but it is also Fair Trade Month. It is an appropriate time for us to espouse the benefits of fair trade shopping, but there are compelling reasons to permanently change your shopping habits by choosing fair trade items when they are available. Simply put, buying fair trade helps to ensure that workers are receiving fair wages, are employed in safe and humane working conditions, and are not being exploited. Companies have been taking steps to improve their supply chains (possibly due to transparency regulations, consumer demand, and/or good corporate citizenship), but many popular products continue to be plagued by slave or child labor in their supply chains. As consumer become more socially conscious, there are numerous resources available about fair trade products. In this article, we want to share a few of our favorite resources and fair trade companies.

A good starting point for a consumer looking to include more fair trade goods in their life is SlaveryFootprint.org. After spending a few minutes taking a survey, you will find out how many slaves work for you (based on your current lifestyle.) Although it’s not terribly comprehensive (that would require an exhaustive inventory of your purchases), it does provide a sobering look at the problem of modern day slavery and how your everyday purchases are connected.

Consumer goods, such as coffee and chocolate, both of which were notorious for slave labor at the bottom of the supply chain, are becoming more likely to have fair trade options. This article by UNICEF provides an additional explanation of fair trade, and includes the fair trade associations that certify products. So when you are in the grocery store, look for one of the association logos on the product packaging and you’ll know that your purchase is helping to combat human trafficking.

Deciding to change your shopping habits to be a better global citizen and social justice advocate is the first step. Admittedly, when you start finding out that some of your favorite products don’t have the best supply chains, it becomes more difficult to make those adjustments. It’s a process and a journey. Start small and try out some fair trade products, without trying to completely overhaul everything you purchase. We will leave you with a few of our favorite fair trade companies.

Freeset – this social enterprise based in India employs sex trafficking survivors in Kolkata. Products include tees, bags, and scarves. We buy our race shirts from Freeset.

Serrv – here you can shop for apparel, home goods and decor, and food items from artisans and farmers in 25 countries.

Ten Thousand Villages – much like Serrv, they carry a wide range of different fair trade goods.

MadeFair – an online retailer of ethical, sustainable and Certified Fair Trade apparel. Our new ambassador, Annabelle, will soon feature some of their items.

Citizen and Darling – an ethical clothing brand that fights human trafficking. We love their Freedom Fighter tees!

And finally, located right in our hometown of Troy, Ohio, Pachamama Market carries a variety of fair trade items, such as home decor, jewelry, clothing, and coffee and chocolate. If you’re in the Troy or Dayton vicinity, make sure you visit them!

Hopefully this post is informative, and will help you get on the path to becoming a socially conscious consumer, not just in October, but year round.

 

Our New Ambassador!

We are excited to announce a new ambassador has come on board to support Free To Run’s mission of raising awareness of human trafficking and other injustices, and to inspire hope and advocate for change. Annabelle Dura is a dancer, writer, model and opportunity producer, who currently splits her time between Texas and New York City. Read more of this post

Freedom Day Virtual Run

Our annual January Virtual Race is coming to a close at the end of February 1st. We extended the race one day into February in order to recognize Freedom Day, which honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the resolution on February 1, 1865 that would ultimately become the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Between now and the end of the day on February 1st, you can walk, run, hop, skip or crawl any distance in our virtual race to raise awareness of human trafficking. Share what you’re doing on social media, talk about Freedom Day, and the fact that there are an estimated 36 million people in slavery in the world today, more than any time in history. Use hash tag #FreedomDayVirtualRun and tag Free To Run Foundation on your posts:

Twitter – @freetorunfdn

Instagram – free2runfdn

Facebook – FreeToRunFdn

You can choose to turn awareness into action by officially registering for our Virtual Race for a $10 donation. For $25, you will get an official Free To Run Virtual Race shirt mailed to you.  Register here: https://runsignup.com/virtualrace2endslavery.

Take the first step in becoming a modern day abolitionist by participating in our Virtual Race To End Slavery.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce