LOGAN, Utah. — Fox Pest Control raised $10,000 companywide for Operation Underground Railroad by July 30, the official World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Company leaders enlisted customer help to reach, and ultimately surpass, their original goal of $2,000.
Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of child sex trafficking. Led by founder Timothy Ballard, members rescue children around the world through coordinated extraction efforts and a planned recovery program. According to Ballard, there are roughly 2 million children in sex slavery today.
Andrea Holyoak, the Fox Pest Control philanthropy coordinator, has been following O.U.R for three years and decided it was time to get involved and make a difference.
“At first, I was so sickened and disgusted by what was actually going on I wanted to shield my eyes from it,” she said. “I have five children of my own and could not sit back any longer. As the philanthropy coordinator for Fox Pest Control, I have a great opportunity to help educate our company and join in the fight to ‘Get Loud’ and raise awareness.”
O.U.R. representative Gary McIntosh shed light on the reality of child sex trafficking when he spoke to Fox Pest Control leaders over a Zoom presentation on July 22.
“The average child in slavery is 13,” McIntosh said, “and I’m sad to report to you all that, at least in the cases that we’ve seen and some of the issues that our operators have encountered, there is no minimum age for a child to be harmed and abused in this way.”
To spread awareness, Fox Pest Control’s pest pros displayed O.U.R. pins on their hats and handed out flyers with a donation link to customers the week leading up to July 30. However, the majority of donations were given from the pest pros themselves.
“Child trafficking must stop,” Holyoak said. “And we at Fox are ready to do our part.”