WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrities, socialites, and leaders from Hollywood and Washington gathered together last week to attend a fundraiser to fight human trafficking. Sponsored by the non-profit Airline Ambassadors International (AAI), it was the first private and elegant charity benefit for the Trump International Hotel of Washington DC since its September grand opening.
Nancy Rivard, an American Airlines flight attendant heads AAI. Under her leadership, she has turned a grass-root, non-profit organization which began with just a few airline employee volunteers into a large network made up of students, medical professionals, families and retirees who are volunteering their time to share their skills to provide, protect, and advocate for orphans and vulnerable children.
Television journalist Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC "To Catch a Predator," hosted the event. "Human trafficking," Hansen said, "is the second biggest crime, next to drugs, and, like drugs, it is ruining many innocent lives. Our duty as concerned citizens is to educate ourselves so that we can recognize and report trafficking to the proper authorities. The buying and selling of women, girls and boys is a frightening modern day form of slavery that must be stopped."
AAI has trained over 4,000 frontline employees to recognize some of the signs exhibited by victims subjected to human trafficking. These signs include fear, shame or nervousness. Many reveal no control of their travels plans, or knowledge of where they are going. Such signature behavior is a red flag that something is wrong and needs to be reported to authorities.
Other speakers included trafficking survivor Donna Hubbard who shared her touching childhood experience, MC Bobby Singerman, Eric Roberts (Julia Roberts's brother) and Musician Keaton Simons, who previewed their new media campaign with the PSA "Save Us," a moving video highlighting what is happening world-wide to some of the most vulnerable and innocent people – our children – trapped in sexual bondage.
"Each week airline employees come in contact with thousands of people," Rivard said, "and we are in the perfect position to spot the unusual and report it to authorities. That is why AAI's training of the personnel is so vitally important. Hundreds of children have been saved, because our members have alerted authorities to unusual behavior that they have observed on board one of their planes."
Seven members of Congress were honored for their leadership and support at the reception including ML Murray, AAI Board Member and Benefit Chair. Sponsors included Committee for Dulles, Dulles IAD Rotary, Great Falls Rotary, Steve Joyce of "Choice Hotels," Tom Campbell of DC Partners, Wendy and Scott Brewer of Pohanka Lexus, Barbara and Diane Lewis of Washington, Fine Properties, Terry and Bobby Burchfield, Holly and Bob Vagley, and Dan and Michaela Gorham, Kensington Properties. For more information, visit www.airlineamb.org
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/celebrities-gather-at-trump-international-hotel-in-washington-dc-to-fight-human-trafficking-300338630.html
SOURCE Airline Ambassadors International (AAI)