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Wichita says "stop" to human trafficking

A report on the sexual exploitation of children inspires a community to take action. It started with one tweet.

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  1. A tweet becomes a movement

    On March 13, 2011 story in The Wichita Eagle told of a 13-year-old being sold on the streets of Wichita and the broader problem of sex trafficking. Two days later, this tweet came from Jennifer White of Andover.



  2. White contacted the Wichita Children's Home Street Outreach Program, which aids runaway teens. She learned they needed donations and volunteers.
  3. She set up a donation drive downtown.  It worked.
  4. White used social media to garner more support. She set up a Twitter account called ICT SOS.  ICT is the airport designation for Wichita, adopted as shorthand for the city on Twitter. SOS is for Street Outreach Services. It's also the international code for help.
  5. White's first donation: a server to host a web site for the group.
  6. People paid attention.
  7. A crowd gathers

    Within months, hundreds "liked" the movement on Facebook.
  8. By June 2011, a crowd of people participated in a "freeze mob" during the Wichita River Festival to call attention to the problem and let the community know there were ways to help.

  9. ICTSOS Riverfest Freeze Mob
  10. By the end of the summer, a tweet had become an organization.
  11. The clean-up begins

    Six months after White's first tweet, the growing group took on the project of helping the Street Outreach Services prepare an drop-in center for homeless youth, giving them a place to find help and get off the street. It needed work. Their idea: take the vacant building and do an "Extreme Makeover."
  12. A "clean-up day" in November, drew 100 adults and teens.
  13. Like this fast:
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