Posted at: 07/23/2013 10:17 PM
Updated at: 07/23/2013 11:16 PM
By: Lynette Adams
A cyclist on a nationwide campaign is working to bring attention to human trafficking. On Tuesday, he made a stop in Rochester.
Garrett Zambrows says he's no expert. He doesn't wear fancy clothes or have a gimmick. In fact, he jokingly talks about the fact that it took him eight years to graduate from Purdue University. He says he's a man on a mission. He wants to put a stop to something most people don't even know is happening quietly in their community.
Zambrows has logged 3,000 miles on his bike since launching his campaign in June, traveling from community to community with a message. He doesn't wear fancy clothes of have a big booming voice. What he has is a passion to save lives.
Zambrows said, “I just want to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. It's just a really important discussion that we all need to be having and I'm just finding that not enough of us are having that discussion."
Zambrows says most people think it is happening in other places, not their community. But everyday, people are taken and used for sex or free labor, even in Rochester.
William Hochul, U.S. Attorney, said, "We have seen cases of women who are lured into prostitution who are held against their will. Many times, minors, who are stolen from their homes and forced to engage in these illegal activities. That's the kind of human trafficking we most see here in Rochester."
Zambrows says traffickers target people in desperate situations and are usually offering money, a job or love.
Zambrows said, “They come offering that which we desire, work, love and opportunities like that. They come and prey on those in the most desperate situations. After all a mother will do anything to feed her
Zambrows says the answer to stopping human trafficking is to beat the traffickers to the punch. He says community groups, churches and concerned citizens, who have the resources, have to go into communities where you'll find desperate people in need of jobs, food, money and other necessitates and provide legitimate opportunities, programs and answers.