Art sale to fight human trafficking

On Sunday, April 17, Union College will host an arts and crafts sale to benefit Tiny Hands International, a Lincoln-based organization dedicated to stopping human trafficking in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The second annual “Tiny Hands, Big Hearts” sale will take place from 1:00-5:00 p.m. in the atrium of the Don Love Building on the campus of Union College.

Asha’s story

Kidnapped from her home in Nepal at age 14 and sold to a brothel in Mumbai, India, Asha was forced to have sex with 25 to 40 men each day. If she refused, her captors tortured her with electric shock and kept her in a tiny cage.

Fortunately, Tiny Hands International intervened. Asha now lives at the Princess Home, a safe haven created by charity to provide healing and education for young girls—victims of the sex trade. Yet, Asha is only one of 10,000 Nepalese girls stolen from their homes each year and sold into slavery. Some are as young as seven years old.

“These girls are deceived—most believe a promising job awaits them,” said Paul Yates, director of ministry development for Tiny Hands International. “Instead they are sold into forced prostitution. They have no future, no hope.”

Tiny Hands International provides hope by rescuing exploited women through border monitoring and interception between Nepal and India. In the last six months, the organization has saved more than 2,750 girls from a life of sex slavery.

You can make a difference

The Tiny Hands, Big Hearts benefit gives everybody an opportunity to make a difference, one girl at a time. “Our average cost to intercept a girl in 2010 was approximately $23,” said Yates. “Imagine, only $23 to prevent a girl from being destroyed in a brothel.”

Held for the first time a year ago, the sale will feature locally made art and craft commodities. All proceeds will go to Tiny Hands International and the young women they help. Products created by the rescued Nepalese girls—such as bags and jewelry—will also be sold at the event. Last year, the Tiny Hands, Big Hearts sale raised more than $4,000.

“All I had to do was picture myself faced with slavery—or imagine a mother or sister being sold into this industry—to realize the importance of Tiny Hand's work,” said Betsy Norton, a junior nursing major at Union College. “I got involved in the Tiny Hands, Big Hearts project through Union’s chapter of Amnesty International, but there are many ways to get involved. First, bring your friends to the art sale.”

Donate your art

Tiny Hands Big Hearts organizers are still looking for items to sell such as paintings, sculpture, drawings, photography, screen print, jewelry, knitted or crocheted items and clothing. To donate, email tinyhands [dot] bighearts [at] gmail [dot] com. Pickup service is available.

“Whether you are a professional artist, like to make things as a hobby or appreciate interesting arts and crafts, your donations and purchases help make a difference in the lives of these young girls,” said Norton. “Slavery still exists. Help us change that.”

For more information about the Tiny Hands, Big Hearts sale, email tinyhands [dot] bighearts [at] gmail [dot] com.

Union College is located at 3800 S. 48th Street in Lincoln. The atrium of the Don Love Building is accessible from the campus entrance on 52nd Street.

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