We are thrilled to share that we have entered into an exciting new partnership with Delta Air Lines. As part of this partnership, Delta is generously donating $1 million to the National Human Trafficking Hotline! In addition to their donation, Delta has also given their customers the opportunity to donate SkyMiles to Polaris through the SkyWish program.
We don’t need to tell you that $1 million is a lot of money. So, what does this mean for the Hotline and how are we planning on using it?
Every day, Hotline Advocates answer about 200 calls on the National Human Trafficking Hotline. In 2016 alone, the Hotline answered 26,727 calls referencing 7,621 potential cases of human trafficking. And that call volume is growing every year—we received 21,947 calls in 2015. As people around the U.S. learn more about the crime of human trafficking and that they can receive help or report tips through the National Hotline, the number of calls we receive and the number of victims and survivors who are connected to help increases.
But, just as with many other life-saving tools, operating the National Hotline takes time and resources. And as call volume increases, more and more resources are needed to accommodate those calls and ensure we are operating the Hotline to its fullest potential and helping as many survivors as possible. This means that we at Polaris depend on generous support from individuals, companies, and government entities to help us meet those needs.
We need to make sure that our technology and infrastructure are fully upgraded, that our Hotline Advocates are trained and supported, and that we can help victims and survivors access support and services whenever and wherever they need it. This new funding from Delta is crucial because it will ensure that we are able to fully staff the Hotline with highly trained Hotline Advocates, modernize our systems, and optimize our technology.
In addition to bolstering the operations side of the National Hotline, Delta’s donation will also directly support survivors in need. While there are countless people across the country who are trying their hardest to serve victims of trafficking, there are still gaps in services that need to be filled. Victim services, law enforcement efforts, and prevention work are all chronically underfunded. Delta’s donation, as well as the SkyMiles donations from Delta customers, will help to fill these gaps by providing opportunities for trafficking victims and survivors to travel where they wouldn’t have been able to before.
The ability to travel can make a huge difference—victims and survivors often need to travel, but can’t afford airfare or other forms of commercial transportation. With these donated miles and increased capacity on the Hotline, we’ll be able to help survivors leave their trafficking situations, return to their homes, reunite with family members, and receive critical or legal services.
But Delta isn’t just giving us a donation…
They’re doing much more! Delta isn’t new to the anti-trafficking field. In fact, they are leading their industry in efforts to combat the crime. Since 2011, Delta has trained over 54,000 of their employees on how to recognize and respond to trafficking on airplanes and in airports, and they regularly support anti-trafficking legislation across the United States. As part of this new partnership, we’re helping Delta build upon their anti-trafficking training so we can teach even more of their employees how to identify indicators of human trafficking and report them to the Hotline — both in their work and in their everyday lives.
With this new partnership, Delta is taking their commitment to fighting human trafficking to the next level. With their donation, they are making a critical contribution that will directly support trafficking victims and survivors.
Allison Ausband, who is the Senior Vice President of In-flight Services for Delta, said it best: “[a] single call can protect a victim or change their entire trajectory, and that’s not to be taken lightly.”
Photo credit: Rank Studios