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The Festival of Trees, Nov. 29 in St. Pete Beach, kicks off the most wonderful time of the year, but for the victims of human trafficking, life has not been so wonderful. There is, however, hope through the event’s featured charity, Empowered to Change, a local nonprofit whose mission is to help all people have hope and the ability to live life free from abuses of any kind.
The park will be decked out with lights and filled with festive trees and wreaths fully decorated with special ornaments thanks to the generosity of local businesses. The trees and wreaths along with a variety of gift certificates will be up for silent auction. There will be music, food, and festive holiday drinks for young and old, along with activities for children including photos and story time with Santa, plus vendors with crafts. Event-goers will be able to cast a ballot for their favorite tree and wreath, and organizers will award other prizes.
Florida has the third highest rate of human trafficking in the U.S. according to government sources. Empowered To Change has been helping victims recover by providing safe housing, food and clothes, career, life and financial counseling, along with family and substance abuse services.
The event is being held at Horan Park in conjunction with National Giving Tuesday.