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Unbound Bryan College Station says 'not in my city' to local human trafficking

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 21:56:47-04

BRYAN, TX — Since 2018, Unbound Bryan College Station has made it its mission, to support the survivors and resource the community in the fight against human trafficking, right here, in the Brazos Valley.

“When people start to realize the extent of human trafficking there’s this feeling of shock and many ask, ‘I want to do something, but I don’t know what to do’,” said Amanda Buenger, Founder & Executive Director of Unbound BCS.

Unbound provides many volunteer options from prevention, outreach, and training teams. For Britney Fleitas, getting involved with Unbound was seamless.

“My love for social work and helping people just grew and that’s when I decided that I wanted to get my master's in social work, and I was lead here [Unbound], and now my interest is helping survivors of human trafficking,” Britney Fleitas, Survivor Advocacy Intern, Unbound BCS.

As a Bryan native, Britney says, she’s always known human trafficking existed in her hometown, but not to the extent that is today.

“I knew us being a big town, a big college town, that it was happening, but honestly, it was not until I started my internship that I realized how many clients are actually served in this town and recovered here,” Fleitas shared with 25 News.

Unbound Bryan-College Station has served 28 survivors and trained over 4,000 individuals throughout the Brazos Valley.

For 5 years, Fleitas has been working for Child Protective Services in Brazos County, protecting children from abuse and neglect. Now, as an intern for Unbound, she is getting firsthand experience working with local survivors of human trafficking.

“I work alongside the survivor advocacy team. I am able to meet with clients and kind of see what they do and how their roles really impact the survivors here,” said Fleitas.

Unbound provides a variety of prevention education through things like the ‘Keeping Students Safe program and specialized prevention education for anyone in a specialty field such as nurses, social workers, councilors, teachers, and parents/guardians.

Unbound says education is the first step to getting involved.

“Just using your talents and resources to participate in what we’re doing," said Buenger. "Maybe, you can't give any of your time, but maybe, financially, you can give. You know, with supporting survivors, we need funding, we need to be able to provide them with the day-to-day things that they need, and our advocates are working so hard that it requires financial giving.”

Friday night, Unbound is holding their annual Night of Hope to bring the community together to raise awareness and funds to help survivors of human trafficking.

If you would like to attend Night of Hope this Friday, virtual packages are still available for purchase, right here!

The event starts at 6:30, March 26.