Andrew Schmidt of Awaken Fair Trade to Speak at May 2nd Collaborative Meeting

Our next Collaborative meeting is Thursday, May 2nd at 9 am at our usual location: United Methodist Church, 490 South Melrose Drive, Vista, California (downstairs, in Fellowship Hall). Our guest speaker is Andrew Schmidt of Awaken Fair Trade.

Emily and Andrew Schmidt started Awaken with a vision that a business could create one of a kind products and change lives at the same time.

“We’ve always felt blessed to grow up in a country that supports freedom and has given us opportunities many would only dream of.We set off to find partners that were doing amazing work in challenging socioeconomic communities. Through a lead at a human trafficking presentation we heard about a Thai business that employs those coming out of prostitution and human trafficking in Thailand. We headed off to Bangkok to share our vision and hear theirs and have now been working together for over 5 years. Awaken products are handcrafted by women who are rebuilding their lives and finding restoration through dignified employment,” they said.

The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery. Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking

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March Collaborative Meeting


Notes by Allison Metzler, SI Vista and North County Inland

Next Meeting is May 2, 2019 Guest speaker TBD

Kaye called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. Several first-time visitors joined us. (note *’s by their names on the attendance list).
• Andrew Schmidt from Fallbrook and his wife have launched program which assists trafficked survivors from Thailand.
• Several members of United Methodist Church expressed interest in our work which correlates with their United Methodist Women’s mission outreach program to address human trafficking.
• Mandy May-Fitzgerald, Registered Aroma Therapist, stated as a private citizen she wanted to learn more. (Later in the meeting she volunteered to join Friends of the Park, homeless outreach.)
• Jackie Huyck, Soroptimist Int’l Vista and North County Inland invited all attendees to attend the SIVNCI Live Your Dream Awards Gala on March 23, 2019. It’s a fundraiser for the local Club and will celebrate our three Awardees with $5000 scholarships to help them achieve their educational goals. Tickets and sponsorships are still available. Please go to for registration and tickets.
• Kaye shared the January 2019 report from the office of SD DA Summer Stephan. The recently formed San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective received a $3 million grant from UBS Optimus Foundation to fund the curriculum in all San Diego County schools which will reach students through three programs that emphasize education, empowerment and intervention. The program will educate students in the fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh grades about human trafficking The program will also help to train other district staff, such as nurses, bus driver and cafeteria employees on how to recognize the signs of a child who is being used by traffickers.

• Several bills have been submitted by various authors regarding human trafficking. Kaye emailed the list, and will continue to receive updates as the session continues.
• Kaye received hopeful information from Ginger Shaw, Executive Director, California against Slavery and Vice Chair/San Diego Human Trafficking Advisory Council. “There is a $10 million ongoing budget inclusion for human trafficking victim providers that the Governor has added to his Budget. It looks like the Assembly will include it in theirs. Not sure where the Senate stands. Each house can make modifications until May, and then they choose either the Governor/Assembly/Senate, so it’s important to include all three.”
• We are encouraged to send letters of support, once the final version(s) evolve.


Kaysee is the Pastor of the Community of Christ. She and her husband, Norio, and Lisa Adams serve the homeless community in Carlsbad and Oceanside. Every Sunday, they and many of the homeless members themselves, prepare and serve a meal in McGee Park in Carlsbad. They also provide clothing, shoes, fellowship and most importantly, relationships. This year-round ministry not only assists homeless individuals and families in meeting their daily needs, but strives to educate those in securing those services that might be available to them and assist in helping people find lodging, employment and future stability. Eleven years ago the membership of the Community of Christ made a radical decision: to sell their beautiful church building in Vista and to “leave the pews” to promote communities of joy, hope, love and peace. They began Friends of the Park. This journey has not only included members of this faith movement as well as a new-founded relationship with our community members living on the streets in Carlsbad, but also the many new partnerships with individuals and organizations who also desire to be part of a team with a vision of making this world a better place for all. We heard stories of amazing recoveries, the support of law enforcement, and members of the local community. We all enjoyed their video which captured a busy Sunday morning and lots of smiles.


  • Kaysee Morota, Pastor, Community of Christ Church, Carlsbad Friends of the Park
  • Norio Morota, Community of Christ Church, Carlsbad, Friends of the Park
  • Lisa Adams, Friends of the Park
  • Evelyn Llewelyn, Community Church of Christ, Friends of the Park*
  • Vickie Lancaster, Friends of the Park, Operation Hope, Vista*
  • Kaye Van Nevel, Soroptimist Int’l of Vista & NCI SIVNCI
  • Jackie Piro Huyck, Lani Beltrano, Allison Metzler, SIVNCI
  • Judy Horning, SIP, Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking, S.T.A.T., Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, BSCC
  • Pam Warnock, Soroptimist Int’l, North San Diego, S.T.A.T., BSCC
  • Lynn Flanagan, Soroptimist International of Poway SIP
  • Michelle Walsh, Coordinator, Student Support Services, VUSD
  • Suzanne McMurchie, Interested individual*
  • Mandy May-Fitzgerald, Interested individual*
  • Jacquie Howard, United Methodist Church, Vista, and United Methodist Women
  • Lyn Berry, United Methodist Church, Vista, and United Methodist Woman
  • Samantha Chacon, Interested individual*
  • Laura Kirkland, Vista Library*
  • Andrew Schmidt, Awaken Fair Trade, Fallbrook
  • Orquidia Contreras, Manager Vista Library*
  • Steve Valdivia, FBI Victim Specialist
  • Le’Jeane Ellis, FBI Victim Specialist

The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery. Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking

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Homeless Outreach Leaders to Speak at March 7 Collaborative Meeting

Kaysee and Norio Morota of Friends of the Park

The next meeting of the North County San Diego Anti-Trafficking Collaborative is Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 9 am to 10:30 am at the United Methodist Church of Vista’s Fellowship Hall located at 490 South Melrose Drive in Vista. Guest speakers for the March 7, Collaborative meeting are Kaysee and Norio Morota and Lisa Adams, of “Friends of the Park” homeless outreach in Carlsbad. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome and coffee and pastries are available.

Kaysee Morota is the Pastor of the Community of Christ in Carlsbad. She and her husband, Norio, are engaged in a year-round ministry to assist homeless individuals and families in meeting their daily needs, help them find services that might be available to them help them secure lodging, employment and future stability. Lisa Adams works tireless as a community activist for Friends of the Park.

The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery. Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking.

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January Collaborative Report


by Kaye Van Nevel and Karen Del Bene

From Left to right: Stephen Valdivia, Guest Speaker and Victim Specialist, FBI; Kaye Van Nevel, Soroptimist International (SI) of Vista/NCI; Yusef Miller, Mosques Against Trafficking; Marilyn Rudoff, Woman’s Club of Vista; Pam Warnock, SI North San Diego; Judy Horning, SI Poway, Lauren Chin, SI Poway; Le’Jeane’ Ellis, Victim Specialist FBI, Brady Finta, Director Carlsbad Office, FBI.


Twenty members attended our first meeting of 2019.   We were honored to welcome new visitors, Victim Specialists for the FBI, Brady Finta, Le’Jeane’ Ellis, and our guest speaker, Stephen Valdivia.  Also, Yusef Miller, Mosques Against Trafficking joined us. He will be honored as a Mission Hero at the STAT event listed below.* All of the attendees, whether interested individuals or representatives of specific organizations, strive to work toward the freedom of the enslaved victims of human trafficking.


  • Soroptimist Int’l Vista and North County Inland will sponsor their 13th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Event, January 12, Wave Water Park, Vista, 12:30-3:00.  Presenters include San Diego DA Summer Stephan; Saved In America, Joseph Travers; and Jaimee Johnson, Sisters of the Streets.
  • Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking (STAT) Salutes our Mission Heroes, Friday, March 1, 6-8 p.m., Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, Roetter Hall, 4321 Eastgate Mall, UTC, San Diego. Register at 2019.*

Guest Speaker Stephen Valdivia

FBI Victim Specialist, Stephen Valdivia, works directly with victims identified on cases being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego County, including North County. Mr. Valdivia also provides victim assistance for FBI cases being investigated in Imperial County and in the FBI’s Honolulu Division which includes Hawaii, Guam, Saipan (CNMI) and American Samoa.  Additionally, Victim Specialist Valdivia is a member of the FBI’s Victim Services Response Team where he, and other specially trained FBI personnel, are prepared to board a plane on a moment’s notice in order to respond to incidences of mass casualties such as the 2016 Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting and the recent 2018 Thousand Oaks shooting.

Victim Services Division (VSD)

  • Funded by Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – which comes from fines, assessments, forfeited bail, etc.
  • Victims Specialist – 170 in US
  • Terrorism & Special Jurisdiction Unit – Worldwide
  • Victim Services Team
  • Child Victim Services Unit

FBI Mandates Specialists to do the following:

  • Identify victims
  • Inform victims of right to receive services
  • Keep the updated as to status of investigation
  • Notify victims of arrest of the offender
  • On scene crisis intervention
  • Explain the process to victims
  • Assist local agents and FBI agents during victim interviews
  • Transport victims
  • Locate emergency services (i.e. housing)
  • Provide verbal and writing information on impact of the crime
  • Provide referrals for victim services (i.e. counseling)
  • Help crime victims secure compensation this can include the entire family
  • Arrange cleaning and return of property (evidence)

Victims voice is so important.  

Child advocacy center specially trained agents aid in interviewing children in a way that will hold up in court.

Victim Services Agents provide:

  • Assist victims and families (NOT WITNESSES)
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Assistant employees who are victims of a federal crime
  • Assistant in providing death notifications for victims (throughout the country)
  • Provide limited language assistant
  • Safety Planning
  • Privacy
  • Basic needs (i.e. food and shelter, etc.)
  • Arrest and searches, especially if children at scene
  • Offer support for office involved shootings
  • Crisis negotiations
  • Mass Casualty Events (i.e. terrorism, shootings like Las Vegas)
  • Closed population as victims
  • Victim identifying
  • Communication
  • Victim Response Management
  • Return personal effects to victims and/or families of deceased

Victim Services Response Team (VSRT) includes:

  • Multi-disciplinary response
  • Provide emotional and logistical support to victims and their family members
  • Serve as liaison between victims and all investigation teams
  • Canine response teams (2)
  • Emergency assistant during a mass casualty including:
  • Uncompensated emergency medical and mental health expenses
  • Forensic exam expenses
  • Makes sure zero out of pocket family expenses of deceased victims are covered which includes hotels, transportation, loss wages, food, etc.

Human Trafficking Victims usually need long-term assistance and resources.  Victim Service Agents become involved in country wide stings, and offer all the services listed above, as well as supporting local authorities.

NEXT MEETING : March 7, 2019, Speaker TBD


The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery.  Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking

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SAVE THE DATE: January 12 Awareness Walk

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Soroptimist vs Human Trafficking: A Look Back at 13 Years of Raising Awareness

by Kaye Van Nevel

I have learned so much in the years Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland has been a voice in the fight against sex trafficking. Many people are still unaware or believe it only occurs everywhere else: third world or impoverished countries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states over 30 million people are enslaved worldwide in either labor or sex trafficking. In the U.S. there are 20,000 + victims of sex trafficking, 72% of whom are Americans. San Diego is designated by the FBI as one of the 13 worst child sex trafficking cities in our country.

COLLABORATIVE (n.) – A collaborative involves two or more people or organizations working together for a particular purpose

Standing beside me today:
Catherine Manis, who in 2005 as President recognized the local impact. Also, SI encouraged programs for global participation.
Marisa Ugarte, Founder Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition and one of the first voices for in the fight against human trafficking. The beginning of my education.
• The attendees at the Collaborative meetings for the past 13 years, many of whom are Soroptimists from sister clubs, and the United Methodist Church of Vista who open their doors for our meetings, and whose Cable Grants have been essential its success.
Stephanie Gonzales, Program Coordinator, North County Lifeline, Project Life. The case managers are first responders, called in when a suspected victims of human trafficking is retained, offering clothing, personal necessities, therapy, and safety. Since 2013 they have successfully helped 111 women and girls.
Kathy Hardy, survivor and Founder and Director of Freedom from Exploitation. In addition to counseling women and girls she conducts a First Offender Diversion Programs for the City Attorney’s office in which a man who has been arrested or cited for a first offense of procuring the services of a prostitute, is sent to her group.
Granville (Tom) Jones, Project Healing Outreach and Peer Empowerment to support men who have been sexually abused, exploited or have been victims of human trafficking. His words, “We have a clear understanding than men a far less likely than women to seek out support for trauma, in fact most never do”
Mayor Judy Ritter
California Legislators who have authored laws, successfully passed to better protect victims and increase penalties for perpetrators/pimps.
Joseph Travers, retired Navy Seal and Law Enforcement, Saved in America.
Jamie Quient, Lawyers Club of San Diego, and Founder and Lead Attorney for Free To Thrive which offers pro bono services to victims of sex trafficking.
Sisters Jean and Sheila, Directors who for 5 years directed the operation of Hope House, North County’s shelter for adult women victims of human trafficking. AND, Susan Johnson, Alabaster Jar Project the current director. We now know it as Grace House. The generosity of the Catholic Church to pay a year’s rent in advance when Susan took the helm, is a most extraordinary ecumenical collaboration, and a direct result of introductions at our Collaborative meetings.
Jaimee Johnson, Survivor, Thriver, from 7 years in “The Life”. She has been Peer Counselor, Project Life, and is currently Probation Mentor for Gang Suppression, VVC, Mother of three, going back to school.
And, standing beside me, Allison Metzler, Marge Swacker, Lani Beltrano, Karen Del Bene, Paula Nix and all our members. I am beyond grateful for the wonderful coverage and work Jackie Huyck and Aleta Dirdo deliver through Social Media and Soroptiline. Cherie Wilson spends hours each month combing the local newspapers, The LA and New York Times, and the internet to produce her well written article Good News Bad News. We are educating Desert Coast Region!

It really is all about education. And it is, most certainly time, to look at an uncomfortable truth. We can rescue, rehabilitate, and empower women for all we’re worth, but unless we take a hard look at WHOSE buying it’s a losing battle. This is called “THE DEMAND SIDE.”

Education IS at long last getting into our schools. Human trafficking will soon be introduced into high school Health Classes. BUT, we MUST recognize and break the cultural norms in this county and bring conversations into our living rooms and kitchens, where we talk about the power of respecting girls and women by bringing our boys and men into the discussion. I’ll pose a question to you. Do we recognize the cultural encouragement of the comments, frequently said with a chuckle, ‘Boy’s will be boys’; ‘Let ‘em sow their wild oats’? Or get rid of TV programs which are pretty much R Rated. Let’s recognize the degrading effect of programs with titles like “Pimp My Ride?” We have a culture to in need of RE education, with a lot of work ahead.

Our District Attorney, Summer Stephan, is been a powerful voice. When she was the Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division she tried over 100 jury trials. About 2 years ago, under her the direction, 29 would-be prostitution customers were arrested in San Diego as a part of a statewide crackdown on sexual exploitation of young women and girls. The multi-agency effort dubbed “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” Took place over a three day period, focusing on the demand side of human trafficking Stephan described the sweep as a “wake up call for men who buy sex, about the damage they are doing to our young women and children and the cycle of abuse they are promoting.”

So…The upcoming 13th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Walk on January 12 brings the larger community together. Although it may be only a one-time shot at education, our presenters are sure to make an impact. As mentioned at an earlier meeting, Joseph Travers, Saved in America will be one of our speakers. AND it is with great pleasure that I add District Attorney Summer Stephan to the podium.

Hope to see you there!

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SAVE THE DATE: January 12 Awareness Walk

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