For over six years, Frank Massolini has served as a full-time volunteer with The Salvation Army in Chicago. Often putting 40 or more hours weekly, Frank has secured funding and directed programming to address issues related to youth criminal activity or victimization. PROMISE: Partnership to Rescue Our Minors from Sexual Exploitation, was begun by Frank in January 2005. As a local task force, PROMISE has grown to a program that The Salvation Army is sponsoring nationally to raise awareness and stimulate response to a form of abuse that often goes unrecognized.
Frank working with Salvation Army leadership in the Chicago area, created PROMISE to identify ways in which society has failed to protect exploited children, to raise awareness of the causes and extent of the problem, and to promote a collaborative response on the part of private citizens, government agencies, social service organizations, and social institutions.
In 2005, Frank initiated contact with the first partners in the cause, enlisting their support and their participation in recruiting others. By early 2006, PROMISE comprised over 20 member groups under the leadership of The Salvation Army, including the Circuit Court of Cook County Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Divisions, the Chicago Crime Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dominican University, the American Bar Association/ Latin American Law Initiative Council, city and county law enforcement, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Offices of the Cook County State’s Attorney and Public Defender, Riveredge Hospital, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Pan-African Association, and the Office of Illinois Attorney General.
In April 2006, Frank led other PROMISE partners in offering a symposium that drew over 200 people. Participants learned about all facets of child sex trafficking, and about responses in terms of four categories: Prevention, Intervention, Services and Public Awareness. The symposium will be repeated in 2006.
In mid-2006 PROMISE received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand its model of education and response nationally. Frank continues to provide local leadership, while working with sponsoring groups nationwide to create a coordinated, structured response to child sex trafficking.