Together 1 Heart Changes Lives In Beverly Hills
Hollywood, 2 July 2016 – This past Saturday, Jackie, the French Reporter, joined celebrities, friends and supporters at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills for a beautiful and moving charity event, hosted by American actress, Human Rights Activist and CEO of Together 1 Heart, AnnaLynne McCord. The event was held to raise money for the charity, whose mission it is to help the girls in Cambodia escape the horrific human trafficking sex slave trade and free themselves into a better, happier life.
Human trafficking, where young children are sold as sex slaves, is an epidemic crisis in the impoverished Cambodia. Despite it being a crime in the country, the country is known globally as a child sex tourism hot spot. Some of the children are sold to traffickers, which is a well organized crime syndicate, by their parents, relatives, friends, even neighbours. Still others are misled by legitimate job offers only to be caught, held captive and tortured until they can be forced into prostitution. According to a UNICEF survey, as many as 35 % of Cambodia’s 15,000 prostitutes are children.
AnnaLynne McCord, known for her work on the small screen in Nip/Tuck and 90210, has taken on the role as a CEO of Together 1 Heart after eight deeply invested years fighting to end sex trafficking as a firm believer in the fight to make our world a better and safer place.
AnnaLynne honoured us by sharing her sad and touching story on why this fight is so important to her. “When I first got involved, I had started to become successful with my show 90210; I looked like a happy, twenty-something actress in Hollywood. I was miserable and I was hiding a lot of deep, dark energy and sadness, and suicidal feelings and all kinds of things. You couldn’t possibly imagine when I walked on the red carpet and waved and smiled like I was so ok. So, that’s why I’m involved, because I have a lot of personal reasons. I was raped when I was 18 years old. It is very personal, but I didn’t know that, I thought I was fine! I was one of the survivors who wouldn’t get … or one of the victims I should say; because I wasn’t’, I hadn’t really survived it at that point, who wouldn’t get the help because I was like ‘I’m fine,’ I threw my sexuality into everything and that was my way of coping because I didn’t want anyone to think I was weak.”
Because of this tragic experience, AnnaLynne was able to relate to the daily torment suffered by the victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. After travelling to Cambodia, her life took a turn for the best and the process of healing began when the innocent victims demonstrated to her love, kindness, beauty and strength.
AnnaLynne continues: “And the reason I’m ok is because little girls in Cambodia looked at me and said ‘I love you.’ That’s it. I had this outlook of who I was that was not who I am. I am a strong woman. I am worthy of being loved. But I didn’t know that for very a long time. And I had to go through all of these different trials and tribulations, so to speak. But I had little 8 and 10 year old and 5 and 6 year old little girls leading the way for me. That’s why Cambodia means everything to me. This is where my soul was saved. So we save girls as a thank you every single day for the fact that they saved my life.”
Keeping the love in the family, AnnaLynne’s sister Rachel McCord was on hand to support her sister, echoing one of Together 1 Heart’s first methods of helping their girls by teaching them art therapy; to dance, act, sing and weave their stories. And through weaving silk and making necklaces and scarves they are creating a self-sustaining opportunity to get out off the sex slavery trade and live a different life and get educated.
Education is supported as a key factor in giving these girls a chance at a better life, as championed by Briana Evigan and Dominic Purcell.
“And with purity and beauty and everything they represent they cleanse themselves by sharing their stories with us,” AnnaLynne says – wearing one of the beautiful silk necklaces made by the innocent hands of a young Cambodian girl.
Take your cue from Jackie and get your necklace or bracelet today from http://together1heart.org to support this life-changing cause.
Thank you AnnaLynne for your goodness, and the difference you are making in this world. Together we are ONE heart!
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Written by: Miquette Caalsen