CAHT Puppeteer Show Director Jan Gurley, Deb Petrocelli as Leo the Lion and Betty Mitchell as Frosty the Penguin performing at an after-school event.

Twenty-one million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. The SouthShore group Campaign Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence (CAHT) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support the fight against human trafficking and related domestic violence issues by providing educational awareness to schools and the community at large.

The 11-year-old group serves the tri-county area, working with multicultural groups in providing short-term housing and other basic needs to families. Mentoring, scholarships, employment and referral services also are offered. The group donates needed funding and tangible items to at-risk youth, law enforcement, regional anti-trafficking nonprofits and rehabilitation centers.

Residents and business owners looking to get involved can attend the next and last meeting of the year on Monday, May 16 at 1 p.m. in Room 30 at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center. The speaker will be Jennifer Sillings, special agent at Homeland Security.

On Sunday, May 22, there will be a Tip Your Hat Tea in honor of all the resilient teens and women the organization supports. The event will be held from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. in the SCC Community Association Atrium’s Florida Room at 1009 N. Pebble Beach Dr. Tickets are $35 per person.

“It’s a very rewarding nonprofit organization rather than a social get-together,” said Lou Anne Rossdeutscher, who manages the website and public relations. She explained the heart-shaped logo with an opening at the bottom means “to let the bad out and the good in.” In addition, the group’s motto is “Preventing and mending broken hearts.”

Donations are accepted to help fund the group’s safe sheltering program, victim services, educational awareness and prevention activities for schools and the community. For tickets to the Tip Your Hat Tea, send a check to CAHT, P.O. Box 5491, Sun City Center, FL 33571. More information can be found at; for the tea, click on ‘Tickets to Events.’

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