At Konnect, we pride ourselves on working with brands and organizations that make the world a better place. When the opportunity knocked for us to support the media relations efforts of Operation Underground Railroad, it was an honor, privilege, and a no-brainer for our agency.
Operation Underground Railroad is an Anaheim-based organization that is paving the way for permanent eradication of child sex trafficking. In just four years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 1,200 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 500 suspected traffickers around the world. Timothy Ballard, Founder and CEO of O.U.R., spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to infiltrate and dismantle child trafficking rings, including undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries.
On Saturday, May 19th, Operation Underground Railroad hosted a gala in Newport Beach, CA. The evening was led by Master of Ceremonies, Mike Tomlin, Head Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers and featured special guest speakers Marisol Nichols from The CW’s hit show Riverdale, Jim Caviezel from the hit motion picture The Passion of the Christ, and Tim Ballard, CEO and Founder of Operation Underground Railroad. In addition, there was a special performance of “Shine On Me” delivered by the Southern California Children’s Chorus. Through donations and an impressive silent auction that included exclusive passes to the Steelers training camp, a 7-day vacation in Hawaii, and Anaheim Ducks private suites, the gala in Orange County raised approximately $300,000 for this important organization.
As part of the event, Ballard gave attendees a sneak peek of a documentary recently made about O.U.R. called Operation Toussaint, to be released this summer. You can go to ourfilm.org to view the trailer and sign up for updates on release dates.
If you are interested in learning more about the work of Operation Underground Railroad, or about the multitude of ways you can support their mission, we encourage you to visit www.ourrescue.org. Additionally, Operation Underground Railroad offers free courses on how to recognize the signs of trafficking. Sign-ups for all are available on the website.