$28 .6 billion dollars. $28.6 BILLION dollars. No, I’m not misquoting Austin Powers.
That’s how much Valentine’s day spending is expected to DROP TO this year. $28.6 billion. Just think about that for a minute. Now think about it in relation to how much of that money is going to be spent on things that end up in the trash, gathering dust on a shelf or worse, plumping out your hips!
For many years now I have been actively involved in the fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation. I work with an amazing organization called Love146. Our mission is to end child sex slavery and exploitation. We will not accept anything less.
Human Trafficking now generates approximately $32 billion dollars per year. That’s only 4 billion dollars more than the people of the United States will spend this year on Valentine’s Day. Seriously? What part of that is okay? Now here’s something radical - what if we were to put all of that money into the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery. Think of the difference we could make if our fund for fighting this crime was as large as the amount generated by it.
I don’t know if those figures will make a difference to you but let’s put a few things in perspective. When you open that card, how long do you keep it before you throw it in the trash? When was the last time you really enjoyed the chocolates, or held meaningfully onto that stuffed animal? I’m not asking people to stop expressing their love for one another, I’m simply asking that you take a new look at what it means to truly show love for another human being.
I would love nothing more than to see all of that $28 billion become available to the many wonderful organizations who are struggling daily to make enough money to continue the work of rehabilitating children who have been liberated from brothels. Children who are now able to sleep again instead of being raped repeatedly for a few dollars. But what if everyone were to pledge to just halve their Valentine Day spending and donate the other half? That would still give us 14 billion dollars! Think about what we could do.
Some interesting statistics:
4 - the age of the youngest girl I met in a Love146 safe home in Cambodia.
2 - that’s how many children are trafficked per minute worldwide.
13 – the average age that girls are prostituted in the United States.
27,000,000 – the amount of human beings currently enslaved around the world today.
For this Valentine’s Day, please consider an alternative the habitual offerings that we have been brainwashed by Hallmark into thinking we must give in order to prove our devotion. Here’s something simple you can do - Love146 has some incredible Valentine’s Day e-cards. Now I know you’re thinking I’ve gone mad – how are you going to show up at your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/partners’ door without the flowers? Let me just say this – if you are in a relationship with someone who would get mad at you for choosing to skip the fancy dinner and donate the money to a charity so that you can be a part of the fight against child sex slavery, you need to rethink your relationship.