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An Aha Moment by Emily Gold

As a volunteer at the Freedom Café I have served as barista and a member of the outreach team. I was originally drawn to the Freedom Café through the open mic nights. A friend told me about Perform for Freedom, and I figured I’d check it out. I soon became hooked! I spent most of that semester listening to music, and later decided I wanted to get more involved so I signed up to volunteer.

To sort of portray the effect of the café, I want to tell a story. Last spring, the UN GIFT box was hosted at UNH right outside the library. The GIFT Box is an interactive display to raise awareness about human trafficking. Having been involved with the café, I was eager to volunteer. On the first day of the GIFT box, there was an opening ceremony. And it followed the typical paradigm; there was a rally speech and red tape to be cut to signify the opening of the exhibit. Bryan gave an amazing speech and we were all feeling really inspired to raise awareness. And then it came time to cut the tape. Bryan pulls out this tiny pair of safety scissors, like the kind you would find in elementary school. I think I actually had sharper scissors in my first grade class. And he approached the tape to cut it, and needless to say, it took may snips to cut through the tape. 

And that is when I sort of had an “Aha” moment. Because that is a perfect analogy for what the café attempts to do. Human trafficking is the big red tape. And I will be honest: it is big, and scary. And alone, I do not have a lot of power:  my one little snip will not break the red tape that is human trafficking. It is when we all come together that we are a force to be reckoned with. It is when we come to the café, and drink amazing coffee, and eat yummy chocolate, and volunteer, and start conversations about the café’s mission that we are unstoppable. You can contribute your “snip” Continue to listen to awesome music on Wednesday nights. Continue to drink the finest coffee in town. Continue to talk with your friends and family and spread the word about the café and the mission to end human trafficking. Because together, our snips of activism will end human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of all people.