Has anyone experienced that elated feeling when you dig deep under the couch cushions and pull out…a coin? Your initial reaction is, “SCORE! I HAVE MORE MONEY!” Until you realise that a silver or a gold coin isn’t going to buy you much. Maybe a mixed bag of lollies at the next school carnival…
So, what do you do with that coin? Drop it into your money box and hear the satisfying tingling – thunk the coin makes when it reaches the bottom? That wouldn’t be a bad idea. I mean, if you save, it means you’ll have more money when you need it, right? Or…you could give the loose change to someone who needs it.
History ALWAYS Repeats Itself
The saying, ‘History repeats itself’ is a common phrase we hear all the time. Yet, it’s super freaky when you realise how accurate it is.
We all know the slave trade existed back in ‘the olden days.’ The British stole people from Africa, squished them onto ships and took them back to Britain. We’ve heard the famous story of John Newton, who was a slave trader until he became a Christian and wrote the song Amazing Grace (1). We’ve all heard how William Wilberforce, the British politician, campaigned for the end of the slave trade in the British Empire and died just before slaves were freed (2).
But we rarely hear of modern-day, 21st century slaves.
Drained of Freedom
It is estimated that, in 2016, there were 21 million slaves across the globe, generating $150 BILLION a year in profits going towards the traffickers. 78% were enslaved in force labour, 22% were enslaved in sex slavery and 26% were enslaved in child slavery (3).
These people are drained of their freedom, bound to their masters, forced and compelled to work under violence and threats.
Imagine if that was you. Or your brother. Or your sister. Or your parents. Or your best friend.
No way out of your situation.
Unless someone lent a hand.
Saturday March 25 is International Remembrance Day of Slavery. Why is this even a day? Because slavery is alive and kicking. Slavery is reality to those 21 million people, who are metaphorically in chains and have lost the key that unlocks those chains for them.
That’s were you come in.
As a changemaker, you can be the key which unlocks the chain. But how? Let me tell you a story.
Let’s All Crowd Around the Campfire and Tell Stories
When 12-year-old Zach Hunter learnt about slavery in history, he wished he was born earlier so he could do something about it.
Then he heard about modern-day slavery.
“…when I found out there was still work to do,” Zach said, “I realised I couldn’t just stand around and wait for someone else to do something.” With that revelation in mind, Zach spoke to his church and school about his fundraiser. The response was incredible. Everyone got on board, combing every inch of their homes for loose chains to donate for Zach’s cause ‘Loose Change to Loosen Chains.’ Zach sent the money to International Justice Mission (IJM), who used that money for their anti-slavery programs.
After the initial drive, Zach Hunter became an advocate and spokesperson for modern-day slavery. He has spoken to thousands of teenagers and at the White House, advertised the film Amazing Grace and written three books called Be the Change, Generation Change and Lose Your Cool (4,5).
Unlocking the Chain
Earlier I mentioned that us changemakers are the keys to unlocking the metaphoric chains that bind modern-day slaves. Zach Hunter’s story is the tool we can use alongside the key to unlock those chains.
So, what’s the tool? Loose change!
Inspired by Zach’s story, I had an idea on what the tool could be to help you unlock the chains on modern-day slaves. This Saturday, on the International Remembrance Day of Slavery, we can comb every inch (literally) of our homes, gathering loose change. We can deny that feeling of elation and tingling-thunk sound I mentioned at the start of this article and instead, donate the change to people who actually need it: slaves.
Share the idea with others around you. If Zach’s response was so awesome a few years ago, imagine what the response could be to you in 2017! Talk to your family, friends, classmates, youth group, sporting team, music band; anywhere where you have connections.
Loose Change to Loosen Chains funds went towards IJM, to be used in their programs. Your funds that you raise this Saturday can also be sent to IJM and become the key in unlocking the chains of modern-day slaves. In order to donate, go to http://www.ijm.org/give and follow the prompts.
Follow the Leader
Slavery is so common in our modern world and so horrific that we can’t but want to help and do something about it. Zach Hunter is a great example on how we, being changemakers, can help free slaves from the chains that bind them.
In light of that, this Saturday, March 25th, help free modern-day slaves, following Zach’s example. Use the loose change you find in your house – under beds, in couches, at the bottom of your handbag – and donate it to International Justice Mission. Get the people around you on board and generate money to combat slavery.
You are the key to unlock their chains.
- Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs, ©2008,2013, pg 185-188.
- You Were Made to Make a Difference, by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado Bishop, Tommy Nelson, Tennessee,©2011, pg 115-117
- Chained feet header image: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/37093381/some-of-the-most-notorious-and-controversial-prisons-around-the-world
- Key image: http://depositphotos.com/2441489/stock-photo-antique-key.html
- Zach Hunter image: http://therebelution.com/blog/2007/02/zach-hunter-fighting-modern-day-slavery/
- LC2LC image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiNoZ1XQIBY
- IJM logo image: http://www.jonathanlimusic.com/international-justice-mission-partners-jonathan-li
- Loose change image: http://blog.phmc.com/resources/loosechange/