Southwestern Assemblies of God University student and social work major Desiree Richards partners with Hope Spring Safe House to initiate an awareness event about human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the DFW community. The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, DeSoto Starbucks located at Interstate 35E and Pleasant Run Road.

“I became aware of the commonality of human trafficking and sexual exploitation about two years ago,” Richards said. “I soon realized that I had a calling on my life to work with victims of these crimes.”

Since last January, Richards has attended seven educational seminars and workshops about domestic trafficking and will attend her eighth this coming week.

The event will have a raffle as well as live performances from Justin Hodges, Oscar Ortiz and Rocky and Julie Presley. Hope Springs Safe House and Richards hope to partner with other Starbucks locations in the DFW area in the future. The event is not only intended to build awareness but also to give locals an opportunity to volunteer and try to raise financial support for Hope Springs Safe House.

Richards, a DeSoto Starbucks barista, was allowed the opportunity to host the event at her store.

“It is a powerful tool for me to share my passion at my workplace and in turn, be able to educate customers and Starbucks partners about a tragic crime that is happening in our local community,” Richards said.

The event will be hosted by Hope Springs Safe House, a residential rehabilitation home for victims of sexual exploitation. Hope Springs works with local police departments and federal law enforcement agencies to educate the community. Hope Springs is in the process of securing a home and land to house eight to 10 women, 17 years or older.

For more information about Hope Springs Safe House, call 214-802-3232.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located in Waxahachie. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.