According to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Justice 14,500-17,500 children are trafficked each year. Human sex trafficking of youth is on the rise, with many drug traffickers seeing it as more lucrative than selling drugs. Darlene Tarnoski is taking action to increase awareness and reach out to youth in trouble to let them know they aren’t alone.
In November 2012, Tarnoski was selling her jewelry at a local craft fair when she met an FBI agent whose business was rescuing children. The agent described how fatherly looking men find young girls and offer them a place to stay giving the girls the impression that they would be safe. However, once in place, the girls would be sold for sex over and over again. The agent made rescuing those girls and getting them to a safe place his personal project. Tarnoski learned that all of their posessions were taken as evidence by the FBI and were in desperate need of necessities like toiletries, water and snacks.Tarnoski quickly began to take action by assembling “dignity bags” filled with supplies.
Her devotion inspired her to found a nonprofit, Women Against Child Trafficking, where she serves as program director. Her passion drives her positive action everyday despite the hardships and challenges she faces and the tragedy she is constantly surrounded by. She is proving that one woman can make a difference.