Category Archives: Uncategorized

How can a Lemonade Stand fight Human Trafficking?

Stories of ordinary people of all ages who take a stand for fighting human trafficking is at the core of this documentary.  And the story of Vanessa and her lemonade stand is an excellent illustration.  Watch the clip below about how Vanessa and her friends raised $230 with a lemonade stand. Thanks to my friend, Joules Evans, for interviewing Vanessa for this story.

The money they raised will help make this film.  And this film promises to be full of inspirational stories to motivate more ordinary people to take action, just like Vanessa did.

There is another 10 year old girl who sells lemonade to fight child slavery.  To learn more, visit  People of all ages CAN & DO make a difference.

Now that you are inspired by these young women with vision, think about what platform YOU could use to raise awareness and/or funds to fight human trafficking.  Feel free to post your ideas in the comments!

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T-Shirts: Wear your Heart.Beats.Slavery out!

Support Heart.Beats.Slavery by wearing this beautiful, comfortable, fair trade t-shirt! 

My dear friend, Tania, proudly wears her HBS T-shirt!

The amazing design by Ursula Roma really pops on this black cotton fair trade t-shirt.  
Here is a close up of the t-shirt design:

Mens/Unisex sizes M-2XL, these are slightly fitted and super soft, thinner cotton.  These shirts are made in the U.S.A. and are just $20.  Email your order to: 

We can work out payment and delivery arrangements via email!  Thanks!

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Live Consciously. Be Authentic. Empower Others.

I love TED talks.  This documentary vision was born while watching a TED talk.  I have been known to spend several hours on a Friday night watching TED talks.  So, imagine my excitement to be a part of planning this upcoming TEDxChange event in Cincinnati.   Not only that, but I may be speaking at this event to share my vision for how to end sex trafficking.  To stay in the loop, visit and LIKE the TEDxCincinnati Facebook page.   

And we hope you join us on April 7th!

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Introducing the Board of Directors

The first official Heart.Beats.Slavery board meeting was held on January 8th.  It was a terrific first meeting. I have 7 board members and most of them had never met.  It’s a wonderfully eclectic group with unique perspectives, wisdom, and talents to offer this project.  

L-R standing: Thomas, Jennifer, Harold, Chelle, Sharlene
Seated: Charla and Reegan

Thomas and Harold are the film making consultants, both with plenty of experience & connections to make this film a reality.

Reegan and Sharlene have lots of knowledge, information, stats, connections to conferences and events that address ending sex trafficking.  Reegan has her own business that sells only fair trade clothes, jewelry, accessories, cards, etc.  Sharlene teaches Law at Northern Kentucky University and teaches her students how to advocate for victims of trafficking. Plus she thinks of all those legal things that need to be addressed along the way. 

Jennifer, Chelle, and Charla are great coaches, project managers, and encouragement of the vision.  Their individual contributions to me and keeping this project moving are too many to name.  

When I think about these impressive board members and the blessing they are to making this documentary a reality, I can’t help but gush with gratitude! 

Thomas Green:  Thomas got started in the production business as an intern for locally produced television show.  He then went on to pursue his Masters in Fine Arts in Film at Regent University.  He will direct this documentary as his final film project to complete his MFA portfolio.
Jennifer Davis:  Jennifer has an MBA and has run her own non-profit organization, Beaded Hope, for the past five years.  As a board member she provides her invaluable experience and coaching.
Harold Hay:  Harold has close to 30 years experience in television and video production.  He is currently in the process of opening a film school in Cincinnati. 
Chelle Magin:  Chelle has a degree in art therapy and a natural talent for project management.  As a board member she will provide creative vision, project management, and general coaching. 
Sharlene Boltz:  Sharlene is a law professor at Northern Kentucky University and a Member of the Northern Kentucky Human Trafficking Task Force. She teaches her students how to advocate for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.  As a board member she provides resources, experience, and legal advice.
Charla Weiss:  Charla is an HR Consultant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  She has lived in several countries where human trafficking is prevalent, including China.  As a board member she provides experience and coaching.
Reegan Hill:  Reegan has her own retail business that sells only fair trade products.  Whenever possible she sources her products from companies that employ women rescued from sex slavery.  She has traveled quite a bit to do her own research on her suppliers.  As a board member she provides resources, experience, and connections to anti-human trafficking conferences and news.

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501(c)3: Grace-full-y

Another blessing has come to Heart.Beats.Slavery! In order to start raising funds to make this documentary, I needed to establish non-profit status. As I began making plans for this, a friend introduced me to Jamey Ponte.  Jamey is the founder and director of the Child Wellness Fund.  Child Wellness Fund has done some great things. But what Jamey really loves to do is, in his own words,”help others realize and move their dream forward.” What this means for Heart.Beats.Slavery is instant non-profit status!

Jamey & me in front of painting by Mike Altman
Photo taken by manager of Corner BLOC Coffee in Cleves

Shortly after the above photo was taken, Jamey and I went to the bank to open the checking account for Heart.Beats.Slavery.  

Let the fund raising begin!

*Thanks Jamey! I am blessed to be in your circle of friends. 
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Tenacious ME

About a year ago (October 2010), I left a comment on Todd Henry’s blog that said, “I have a good idea as a result of watching this video. Thanks Todd!” And Todd replied, “Fan..tastic! Good to hear!” And thus began my journey with Heart.Beats.Slavery! Two weeks later (November 6, 2010) we did our first day of filming at the Unbound Event at The Freedom Center.

Fueled by the mustard seeds of this vision, a mustard seed of faith, and a flood of passion to water the seeds – I started to move forward.  That simple. I just started moving forward.  There have been obstacles and distractions. There have been days, weeks, and months when it seemed like NOTHING was happening with this project. But I can already see those times were necessary for the vision to incubate and sprout in new directions. It has grown bigger than the original mustard seed…for sure!  

The important thing is that I have not given up or walked away. There is something to be said for tenacity. Today I will be working on a budget for the film. This week I am establishing a Board of Directors. This month Heart.Beats.Slavery will become an official non-profit organization. By year’s end, I will raise funds to deposit into the Heart.Beats.Slavery checking account to fuel the making of the film.  In 2012, I will travel, gather more resources, do more networking, and film more footage. Tenacity. 

I have heard two messages/slogans recently that resonate with me and this vision. They are: Start from HERE and Keep pressing PLAY. This documentary, about how ordinary people can and do make a difference toward ending sex slavery, will get made…driven by tenacious me! 

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Movies that move me

One of the reasons I am passionate about this documentary is because the vision for this project is unlike anything on this subject I have seen thus far. To my knowledge, most films and documentaries regarding human trafficking are mostly focused on making people aware of the atrocity of slavery. This is good and needed.  However, so far, there is nothing like the documentary I am making which focuses on the ways ordinary people can & do make a difference toward ending human trafficking. I have featured 3 films that I feel do an admirable job of showing the realities of human trafficking. Click the links below to learn more.

The Whistleblower – Aside from a straight-out documentary, this is the most accurate depiction of sex slavery in a feature film that I have seen.  Three well-known respected actors play the lead roles. The movie is based on actual events, which may be the reason it seems most accurate. I highly recommend this film if you have any interest in digging deeper into the behind the scenes evil that makes sex slavery such a huge business

Trade – You can rent this one, though I streamed it on Netflix. This stars Kevin Kline and is very well done. It is an accurate portrayal of how girls are abducted, trafficked, and auctioned.  My only complaint on this one is that the rescuer (played by Kevin Kline) has a personal connection to the one girl he rescues, and a personal reason for getting involved. Kline’s character believes his daughter was abducted and trafficked. But the girl he saves is not his daughter. Sex slavery is an ugliness that makes most people cringe and then feel hopeless. Some are provoked to work toward ending trafficking by rescuing and rehabilitating slaves as if they were helping their own child. 

Born into Brothels – This is a documentary made by a photographer who started a photography class for children of prostitutes in the red light district of Kolkata/Calcutta. This film shows the resilience of the human spirit under grim circumstances. And shows the ugly reality of life in a brothel through the eyes of innocent children of prostitutes who only desire love, beauty and acceptance in their community, which happens to be in the red light district. The kids can’t really comprehend anything else. 

Regarding the documentary I am working on… even if ten others like it beat it to the box office, it will not deter me from finishing mine. As long as sex slavery exists there will always room for more films that increase awareness, and show what is possible when the power of love transforms possibilities. 

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A Little Extra

I have never made a film before, but that will not stop me from making this film. I have always been adventurous!  I have lots of great stories of times I have tried something I had never done before.  I am blessed with opportunities to learn more about film-making in unexpected ways.

The other day I got to be an extra in a full-length romantic comedy being filmed here in Cincinnati.  Even though the process for making a documentary is different, it was great to be on a movie set and observe!  Here is a news story about the film. I have my 2 seconds of fame at time marker 00:51- don’t blink! I am behind the blonde woman clapping.

There were so many reasons I am grateful I was on set this particular day. Mostly, I am grateful to have spent the day learning by observing. I hope the audience for this documentary will also learn by watching! Who knows what new ideas for abolishing slavery it might inspire!

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All About It – Part Four: Project Management

The vision for this documentary project reminds me of a joke: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.  With each bite, I realize there are many potential places to take the next bite.  Also with each bite, I sink my teeth deeper into the meat of it. It is quite overwhelming, most of the time!  I thank God for the friends who encourage me and remind me how important it is to see this vision through.  

Here are some basic bones of the project:

~To interview people who are making a difference toward ending sex slavery. 
~To gather their stories about the passionate people about how they got involved.
~To film events where people are taking action to end sex slavery. 
~To raise awareness and funds.
~To collect a stories from some girls/women who have been rescued from sex slavery, rehabilitated, re-trained with a variety of skills and are living productive, free lives.
~To show the audience that they can help make a difference with the resources they have at their fingertips — their talents, their time, their money and their freedom of choice. 

These are my objectives, there is a LOT of prep work to be done!  I am plugging away and moving forward with the vast possibilities available for this project. I am very grateful God will me with management!

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All About It – Part Three: Getting Hooked

How can you hook your audience? 

I have boldly declared that I intend this film to attract people who don’t know that sex slavery exists, don’t believe sex slavery exists, or don’t think their lives have anything to do with sex slavery. The harder question is how to hook them? How to pique their interest enough to watch the film? And once they start watching, it needs to be intriguing enough to keep their attention through the whole thing.  

This question is the reason why I do not want this film to focus too much on the atrocity of sex slavery.  People can only endure so much second-hand heartbreak.  Raise your hand if you change the channel when a “Save the Children” commercial comes on. Or the one about abused animals with Sarah McLachlan singing in the background. My hand is raised HIGH!  

So when the question- “How can you hook your audience? ” – was originally posed to me, I was like a deer in headlights! Thankfully, the person who posed the question had some ideas that aligned with the my vision. And we worked from there.

There is an intention that allows for story structure. With that in mind, the discussion continued with ideas to spark the interest of the audience.  

Here are just a few ideas:
~What if your daughter was collateral for a loan?
~Do you ever think about the slave that you own?
~Have you ever realized you are a shareholder in the sex slavery business?

I’m also considering borrowing my friend Jamie’s blog post “Seven Years” as a structure point. Jamie’s blog post is very powerful!

Please share your thoughts in the comments!  Thanks! 
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