Since 2018, our 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline has fielded more than 4,500 calls and texts. They come from survivors of human trafficking, services providers, friends and family of survivors and concerned community members.
So who exactly is on the other end of the line, ready to respond to incoming calls and texts? Let us introduce you to a few of our volunteer Hotline Advocates. A team of 50 volunteers take shifts so that the Hotline is staffed around the clock, at any time of day or night.
Volunteer Hotline Advocates provide callers with emotional support. They also help them find resources through our vetted list of more than 250 providers across the state. Whether it’s food, shelter, job assistance, legal aid—our Hotline Advocates get callers the safe and anonymous help they need. When requested, Hotline Advocates also gather information to pass tips on to our trusted law enforcement partners.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to a few of those incredible volunteer Hotline Advocates. These individuals dedicate time out of their busy lives to support survivors and help end human trafficking in Colorado. If you’re inspired by their service, find out how you or someone you know can become a Hotline Advocate this month.
Kelly Glen, Hotline Advocate: “We all deserve to be free.”
Kelly Glen applied to volunteer as a Hotline Advocate after listening to a talk about human trafficking overseas and in Nepal. He reflects, “I wanted to help, but focused on helping locally in Colorado. I searched and found the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking. Within a few months, I was trained and on board.”
When we asked Kelly about why he volunteers, he shared, “I volunteer as an advocate for social justice and fairness, and to eliminate modern day slavery in the United States. As Martin Luther King said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ But we need volunteers and advocates to bend that arc towards justice. It won’t happen on its own.”
Watch the video below to hear more about why Kelly volunteers as a Hotline Advocate… and why you should, too!
According to Kelly, the best part about volunteering with LCHT is “making a difference.” He continues, “The Hotline fuels us to keep going, as we will win. Traffickers will lose.” For survivors themselves, it makes a real difference. Kelly adds, “We help those in need and have the resources to help them start a new life. We all deserve to be free and live the life that we were intended to live.”
Angela Castillo, Hotline Advocate: “The difference can be life-changing!”
“Several years ago, a glimpse of the reality of human trafficking inserted itself into a special project at work,” reflects volunteer Hotline Advocate, Angela Castillo. “Since then, I’ve had this field in mind.” When she started looking for a volunteer opportunity, Angela didn’t set out to get involved with a hotline. “I hadn’t worked a hotline before. When it popped up, though, there was no real reason to shy away.”
After completing her volunteer training with LCHT, Angela committed to a year of volunteering for the Hotline. “I thought that a year may be my limit,” she recalls. “But after settling in and getting encouragement, it became rather easy to make a few monthly shifts a part of life. This is something I’m proud to do with a group of wonderfully supportive, motivated people.”
When we asked Angela about the best part of being a volunteer Hotline Advocate, she replied, “More than just one thing! But something especially good for my own well-being is learning about the huge network of people state-wide doing the crucial work of helping survivors and other members of our communities with housing, legal assistance, mental health care, and so much more.” Knowing that we are each part of the larger anti-trafficking movement working to end this crime is a great source of motivation.
Angela has seen the Hotline in action firsthand: “The difference can be life-changing!” She shares, “I believe it’s a trusted resource for survivors to be heard, supported and connected, for neighbors to get informed, and for anyone to actually report human trafficking.”
David Wehrwein, Hotline Advocate: “Advocates are trained to treat callers like fellow humans.”
As you can see, every volunteer Hotline Advocate has a different reason for getting involved. David Wehrwein says, “I decided to apply to volunteer with the Hotline because I know someone who experienced labor trafficking, and I had some extra time that I wanted to do something meaningful with.”
Since becoming a volunteer with the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, David has continued taking shifts on the Hotline because “it’s a small part of making our world a safe place for everyone through awareness and advocacy.” He says that compared to other volunteer opportunities, “Volunteering with LCHT is different. The intentionality behind trainings and support is rare to find. The work can be hard, but the staff at LCHT work harder.”
David points to something that’s at the heart of Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline: “No matter who is calling or what they’re calling about, the volunteer Hotline Advocates are trained to act and treat callers like fellow humans. We hope it helps develop trust with the many different kinds of callers we hear from, and especially with survivors of trafficking.”
Micala Pruitt: “I hope to support people who have felt stripped of their choice.”
After traveling to India and the Philippines to support women who experienced sex trafficking, Micala Pruitt decided to apply to become a volunteer Hotline Advocate with LCHT. She recalls, “Since trafficking is so rampant in the States as well, I wanted to find a local organization where I could volunteer.”
A passion for anti-trafficking efforts and human rights are at the center of why Micala volunteers. She shares, “I volunteer for the Hotline because I believe that autonomy and dignity are basic human rights. I hope to support people who have felt stripped of their choice; I want to aid in their path to feeling safe and hopeful again.”
The best part of volunteering with the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking? “Playing a role in such an involved movement in anti-trafficking.” Micala reflects, “The accessibility of a 24-hour hotline is impressive, and I am proud to support the vision and goal of the organization. At LCHT, I have found like-minded people passionate about the things that have weighed heavily on me for years.”
Micala adds, “I always enjoy quarterly meetings where we see the impact of the Hotline. The fixture of a 24-hour Hotline creates a dependability and a constant option for people, bolstering trust and reliability.” Seeing the impact that the Hotline makes for survivors and Colorado communities drives Micala to continue her volunteer efforts. “The fact that arrests have been made after a tip through our Hotline has encouraged me in this daunting field. I believe the scope and reach of the Hotline is increasing, and I am excited to see what the future holds!”
Volunteer to Field Calls and Texts to Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking as a Hotline Advocate!
Our next volunteer Hotline Advocate training is Feb. 24 and 25 (9 am–5 pm) and Feb. 27 and 29 (6 pm–8 pm). We’d love to have you join us! If you want to make a direct difference for survivors of human trafficking, this opportunity is for you.
Watch the video below to hear from Katlyn Pryshlak, our Hotline and Advocacy Manager, about what to expect from the volunteer training.
No prior experience in human trafficking is necessary. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to get prepared for your first remote shift. Topics will include how to provide support to callers, how to make effective referrals, and how to pass on a tip to law enforcement when requested. Submit your volunteer application ASAP (at the very latest by Feb. 16).
Need Support? Get Help Now
If you or someone you know might be experiencing exploitation, call or text our 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline. We’re here to help you in a safe and anonymous matter. CALL 866-455-5075 or TEXT 720-999-9724. Or, you can find resources near you in our online directory.