Local Richland car show supports survivors of sex trafficking, abuse

RICHLAND, Wash — Bread Rolls Media hosted a car show Saturday for the Support, Advocacy & Resource Center (SARC). Dozens attended the event, even with the short notice.

SARC is a local non-profit that helps victims of crime and their non-offending family members and friends. The organization has been in the Tri-Cities community for over 40 years.

Bread Rolls Media’s Event Organizer, Eli Shelby, came up with the idea after hosting another local car show in Tri-Cities.

“The last meet that we had out here a couple years ago, we had about a hundred cars out at one point,” Shelby said. “It seemed like it was almost a waste to not have some better purpose for having so many people out.”

RELATED: SARC resources, crisis line still available despite lobby closure

Shelby partnered with SARC after a family friend recommended the idea. “We initially tried to do a car meet for them last year. Unfortunately, due to COVID, we weren’t able to host one.”

SARC requested to host the meet as close to July 30th as possible. The day is set aside observance for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. According to the United Nations, about 50,000 human trafficking victims were reported in 148 countries in 2018.

RELATED: Over 100 trauma dolls donated to Tri-Cities SARC

SARC’s Program Director of Human Trafficking, Desiree Reynolds, said sex trafficking does happen locally.

“A lot of times people ask questions about human trafficking: ‘Is it something that really happens here?'” Reynolds said. “We just did our stats for our last fiscal year. We had 150 new clients this past year, and since [2017], we’ve had over 440.”

The SARC is always looking for volunteers. Whether you can donate your time, items for individuals, or even financially. Volunteers can help with crisis support lines and out reach, among other things. To donate items, the organization regularly posts items that survivors need on their Facebook page.

You can find SARC on Facebook by clicking here.

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