LABELLE – GFWC LaBelle Community Woman’s Club will host a human trafficking awareness and prevention presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. at 382 Hickpochee Ave.
“In Plain Sight - Human Trafficking: What It Is, What It Isn’t!” is free and open to the public, provided by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month.
Hendry County Sgt. Wanda Hainley will provide free training as to what human trafficking looks like; how to protect your children from being lured by online predators; learn what to watch for in your neighborhood; what sextortion is and how to avoid becoming a victim and learning how you can save a life.
Hainley heads the HCSO's Human Trafficking and Awareness Unit and the Criminal Interdiction Unit.
Woman’s Club member Lilly Hart said this is the second time the club has hosted the presentation. She said people who attended last year expressed surprise that human trafficking was occurring in the community.
The presentation offers understanding of what is happening in the area and how to handle a human trafficking situation if they recognize it, she said.
Hart continued that the LaBelle Community Woman’s Club (LCWC) started in 1930 and was federated in 1936, housing the first circulating library in 1931 while also planting trees along the major roads, installing trash cans on street corners and worked with the city to pass ordinances to keep the town rubbish-free.
During the Great Depression, the club continued its work beautifying communities, assisting in welfare work, sponsoring libraries and address school problems.
Members weren’t limited to community work only – they participated in war-related projects during World War II, sewed for the Red Cross, helped sell bonds and plant victory gardens and participated in Bundles for Britain.
Now the GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs), it continues with its community service efforts, recently holding a fundraiser for Camp Boggy Creek, and has provided several scholarships to LaBelle High School students, collected clothing for women starting new careers, donated food for the Salvation Army and provided purses to ACT among other efforts, Hart said.
A club description says: “GFWC clubs and clubwomen are the heart of not only the Federation, but the communities in which they live and work. By Living the Volunteer Spirit, GFWC clubwomen transform lives each day, not simply with monetary donations, but with hands-on tangible projects that provide immediate impact.”
GFWC invites interested community members to join. GFWC members have an added benefit of the special rate to rent the club house, a popular venue for birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and more. To rent the clubhouse call 863-228-0551.