• Our President's Reflections and Awareness

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    It is truly hard to believe my term as president of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce board is coming to an end. I wanted to devote my final article as president to a non-business topic that I believe deserves our attention.

    A few days ago I was honored to attend a meet and greet with a few Redskins players prior to the annual Play 60 event at Fort Belvoir. Several players were in attendance, but the one that made the biggest impact on me was Alfred Morris. As a big Redskins fan, I am well aware of Mr. Morris' stats and capabilities as a professional player, and the fact that he drives a 24 year old car. As a diehard 'Skins fan, I was all too anxious to get my picture taken with the players. After getting my souvenir shots, I reviewed the photo with Alfred Morris and I was surprised to see him wearing a hat with "#endslavery" on it. This is the topic of my article, raising awareness on human trafficking.

    Recent media reports indicate that in Fairfax County alone, over 260 victims of this horrible crime were identified and an additional 100 victims were rescued. Often referred to as modern day slavery, human trafficking is a truly deplorable crime that involves the movement of people, usually young girls, for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. With I-95 and three major airports, this region is a hot spot for human trafficking.

    As an organization of civic minded businesses, we need to be aware of this crime and the profound impact it has on its victims. If your company has the ability, I would encourage you to help raise awareness and combat human trafficking. This cause deserves our attention. Whether engaging with a local nonprofit or doing something as straight forward as increasing awareness, the help you provide could save a life. Let’s all chip in to #endslavery.

    Kyle McDaniel is the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce's 2015 board president.
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