Bend Relo Supports Guardian Group

Guardian Group is top-selling Bend Relo agent Stormy Clark’s pick to support this quarter with a $1,000 company donation and social media shout-outs. Guardian Group’s stated mission “is to prevent and disrupt the sex trafficking of women and children while enabling partners to identify victims and predators in the United States.”

David Keyte initiated the quarterly donation program to raise awareness for issues and groups that impact the community:

“The top producing agent of the quarter gets to choose the nonprofit closest to their heart.
This quarter, Stormy chose Guardian Group. They were founded in Bend and have an amazing leadership team who use their talents to advocate for those in harm’s way.”

Due to COVID-19, in lieu of an in-person Gala, Guardian Group is hosting a virtual event for their second annual fundraiser, October 1, 2020, 6:30PM PDT via Zoom. Register here. From the announcement:

We will be bringing together survivors, law enforcement, healthcare and the Guardian Group team for an informative event about the current state of human trafficking in America and what you can do to help.
Community Awareness

It’s easy to live in a beautiful location like Bend, Oregon and believe that something so heinous as trafficking is some other community’s sad problem. While Central Oregon is by any standard a wonderful place to live, Guardian Group is dedicated to making people aware that this terrible crime can and does happen everywhere, and that keeping one’s eyes and heart open are keys to making sure our is a community that won’t tolerate the abuse of our most vulnerable.

Most of us live in Bend for the sense of community, the quality of life, access to outdoor recreation and a better childhood for our young people. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all who live here. Guardian Group is based In Bend, OR and we are committed to fighting sex trafficking right here in our hometown. Human trafficking exists in all corners of America and Bend is not immune. With your help we can make sure that Bend is a place where our children are not exploited and preyed upon by traffickers. It will take all of us working together.

• 25% of victims reported when sold online they saw more than 10 buyers per day.
• 75% of survivors reported being sold online
• Less than 1% of traffickers are ever prosecuted
• More than 80% of victims are US Citizens

Raising awareness and providing comprehensive training are core goals. Teams of [corporate trainers and educators specialize] “in equipping the hospitality industry, law enforcement community, corporations and community members to recognize and respond to sex trafficking situations.” In the field, former special operations military, law enforcement, and intelligence community professionals apply their deep experience and skills to augment law enforcement efforts across the nation to disrupt and terminate human trafficking.

Oregon Police report that the help they’ve received from Guardian Group has led to both arrests and convictions:

The information they provide is timely, valuable, credible, and always a huge time saver. Partnering with them allows us to focus efforts on a successful recovery of a victim and the possible identification of a trafficker.

How to Help

Bend Relo invites you to join the efforts of Guardian Group to keep our community safe for all. Visit the website to learn more about community and hospitality industry training opportunities. And attend Guardian Group’s Second Annual Gala online October 1, 2020, at 6:30 PM! Again, you can register here, and visit the website for more information.

Irene Cooper is a poet, novelist, creative copywriter, and 24-year resident of Bend, Oregon, having lived in cities and small towns from New York to Rio de Janeiro to Markleevile, California. When not blogging, Irene dedicates time and energy to expanding and supporting the Central Oregon writing community.

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