LUBBOCK, Texas – Blue sand covered the sidewalk cracks across Texas on Wednesday as a way to raise awareness for human trafficking and support survivors.
United Supermarkets, Voice of Hope, One Voice Home and Open Door Survivor Housing teamed up at Buddy Holly Hall to participate in the Texas Blue Sand Project.
The blue sand spread throughout the cracks of sidewalks represented human trafficking victims to let them know they were not alone.
Hillary Cobb, the executive director for One Voice Home, explained what this event meant.
“It’s just for us to step out and say, ‘We see you, and we’re not going to let you fall through the cracks. We are here to walk with you. We value you.’ And so, if you’re a survivor, and you see the blue sand, please know that we’re just here to support you,” Cobb said. “We’re really just here to make sure that survivors know that there’s hope–that there are people here to help them and that we can help connect them to those resources.”
Here in Lubbock, there have been over 350 reported cases of sex trafficking since 2011, with the youngest one being 8 years old.
Cobb shared some tips on how to avoid traffickers.
“I am telling you to be very intentional about what young people are doing on social media apps. There are different things. Our phones are weapons these days,” Cobb said, “and so, it’s very important for us to be aware…there are traffickers everywhere…so just be very aware of your surroundings.”
If you or someone you know is a human trafficking survivor, the blue sand project wants you to remember there’s help available.
Human Trafficking victims can find resources in places like public bathrooms, where stickers are posted with a hotline number, they can call for help. Resources can also be found in the Lubbock area through Voice of Hope, One Voice Home and Open Door.