Home / News / Human trafficking non-profit to hold fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale
A billboard in Naples seeking information about Sophie Reeder, who has been missing from Fort Lauderdale since May 20. (Photo courtesy John Rode/GCR)
A billboard in Naples seeking information about Sophie Reeder, who has been missing from Fort Lauderdale since May 20. (Photo courtesy John Rode/GCR)

Human trafficking non-profit to hold fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale

A human trafficking and missing children nonprofit, launched this summer, is having its first fundraiser in Broward County later this week.

The event, scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Bull Market in Fort Lauderdale, is for Global Children’s Rescue.

John Rode, a founder of GCR and a former undercover narcotics agent, said he and his co-founders have been working on rescues for some time, though the group formally debuted in July.

By Victoria Salas
South Florida News Service
@SFNS_NewsInstagram• Facebook 

 

“Over the past year we’ve dealt with like 30 to 40 cases,” he said. “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children doesn’t do anything; they have a fancy website and that’s about it.”

Utilizing sources like Backpage — a search engine public safety officials have said is notorious for prostitution services – GCR investigators go to locations advertised in an attempt to find victims of human trafficking.

“We just need one cooperative victim to bust these cases. You’ll usually get one who will tell you where they operate and the names of the bosses,” said Rode.

Once a brothel is discovered, GCR investigators contact local law enforcement.

“Some police departments – not all – are incredibly proactive,” he said. “I used to work in law enforcement and I know how they work.”

The case of Sophie Reeder, a 15-year-old girl from Fort Lauderdale, has been a priority for the GCR. She has been missing since May 20.

Reeder is believed to be a victim of human trafficking, said Rode, but there are no leads on her location. Complicating the rescue efforts, Reeder does not qualify for an Amber Alert because she was reported as a runaway in the past.

GCR is actively working on her case. They have placed two billboards with Reeder’s photograph in Naples. Nicole Twist, Reeder’s mother, is expected to attend the fundraiser.

John Todora, the owner of the Bull Market, is no stranger to fundraising events.

“Oh yeah, we hold [fundraisers] constantly for any charity that needs a place to hold it,” Todora said. “Over the summer we hold them like two or three times a month. In the fall we try to even do two a week.”

Tickets are $20, include a drink and appetizer and can be purchased through Eventbrite.com. All proceeds will go to the GCR.

Future fundraisers are planned at Seasons 52, Tap 42, and The Capitole Grill.

Ultimately, Rode said, funds raised will help GCR’s mission of increasing public awareness on the issue.

Interested in having low-cost, timely and professionally edited work for your news organization? Read about us here and contact News Director Dan Evans at daniel.evans@fiu.edu.

x

Check Also

Derek Jeter and Mayor Francis Suarez share a laugh while handing out turkeys and potatoes.

Turkey giveaway at Marlin’s Park

The Miami Marlins held their 9th annual Thanksgiving Distribution last Friday. The invitation-only event held at Marlins Park was sponsored by Feeding South Florida and other organizations. One thousand pre-selected families were given turkeys and other thanksgiving dinner essentials. The Marlin’s new CEO and part-owner, Derek Jeter, and Miami’s newly elected mayor, Francis Suarez, helped distribute 10-pound turkeys, canned goods ...