Volunteers distribute soap bars in hotels to fight sex trafficking

Posted at 12:12 PM, Feb 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-16 13:12:56-05

COLUMBUS, OH — An outreach program in Columbus is hoping to fight sex trafficking using soap.

Volunteers have wrapped, packed and delivered bars of soap to nearly 150 hotels in and around Columbus, Ohio as part of the S.O.A.P Project.

The S.O.A.P Project stands for Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, and is an effort to fight sex trafficking among kids.

"As a woman I'm aware of the vulnerabilities of women and girls... the statistics are staggering..." said Amanda Paragon, Outreach Coordinator at Capital City Grace Church.

Each bar of soap is labeled with the national human trafficking hotline number and the pictures of missing kids.

Organizers say Ohio is one of the top states for sex trafficking in the U.S.

The program director for S.O.A.P is a survivor herself.

"I was trafficked when I was 15 years old... I didn't even know I was a victim of human trafficking..." said Theresa Flores, Director of S.O.A.P Project.

The idea of the project is to reach out to hotel visitors and guests at places where young people could be victims.

"When we do SOAP outreach we go tot every little motel on Broad St. to the Hilton because this happens in every single hotel," said Flores.

Volunteers are hoping their efforts will be the beginning of change to an issue impacting so many children around their state.