Pretty Little Liars’ star Shay Mitchell’s passion project is working with the Somaly Mam Foundation to stop sex trafficking of young women and girls in the United States and around the world. And she's launched a fundraising page to help with the cause, After Ellen reported.
Mitchell, who plays Pretty Little Liars’ out character Emily Fields, seeks to raise $10,000 on her fundraising page for Somaly Mam. In an interview that ran on SheWired and The Advocate earlier this summer Shay said that she really became of the devastation of sex trafficking when she was 18 and modeling in Thailand.
“You couldn’t shy away from it; you couldn’t hide from it. You just couldn’t not see it, “Shay explained, “It really, really affected me."
She went on to explain in the interview that she became involved with organization asap, arranging a trip to visit Somaly Mam centers and victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. She also shot a PSA to create awareness of the heinous practice.
“If I get an extra light shined on me from, you know, having an acting career and people knowing me that way, and then I can directly shine it back to what Somaly is doing and working to fight against, then that’s amazing,” Shay said of using her star power for good. “That is really why I wake up every morning thinking this is what I’m supposed to do.”
And Shay is true to her word. Here’s what she posted on her fundraising page.
This year I’m committed to helping project 18for18 in their efforts to stop sex trafficking worldwide. Last year 18for18 had a simple goal; raise $18,000 by skydiving 18,000ft to help the fight against sex trafficking. This year we are jumping for much more. We are trying to raise $50,000 to fund The Somaly Mam Foundations PROJECT RESCUE. This can cover an entire year of costs for the foundations rescue missions in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, where children as young as 3 are being sold for as little as 50US dollars and forced to service up to 25 clients a day. These women and children have no real support system on the outside, making escape or rescue almost impossible. This is where we join the fight. With over 7000 rescues since the beginning of her fight, CNN Hero Somaly Mam has been on the forefront of the battle against sex trafficking, and a shinning light for these women and children.
Our goal is to make sure that no woman or child ever reaches out for help, and can't receive it because of lack of funding. One day, one jump, one goal, Will you help us? Last year our amazing team of volunteers and celebrities got together and raised over $38,000 and they only had 10 days to do this year we have 3 weeks but we need your donations!
The goal is attainable,
The solution is tangible, Join us in the fight for life, The fight for freedom...
Here's one of Shay's PSAs for the foundation.
Visit Shay’s fundraising page to get involved with raising funds for the Somaly Mam Foundation.