This month we are spotlighting one of our Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking members, Carol Thombs. Carol is a liaison to the Coalition for the Medina Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the President of the Medina Chapter of Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP).
Carol has been a part of the Coalition for almost 10 years. She is a dedicated volunteer working to educate the community about Human Trafficking and helping to identify victims of Human Trafficking through the SOAP Project.
We asked Carol to share a little more about herself so that we could all get to know her a little better.
Roles and Responsibilities
How did you get involved with the Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking?
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) – Medina Chapter was invited to the first Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking organizational meeting in March of 2014. I volunteered as a liaison for AAUW because I believe that working towards the elimination of human trafficking was, and still is, so important.
What is your current role in the Coalition? How does SOAP support survivors of Human Trafficking?
I am a member of the Coalition and the President of the Medina Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP) Chapter. SOAP currently has 3 teams that visit the hotels, truck stops, hospitals and restaurants that are open 24/7 every month. Each month we deliver to them a Missing Children’s Poster that has photos and information about 8 children who have gone missing in the previous month. We also provide information about indicators of Human Trafficking to look for, and bars of soap and makeup removers that have a label with phone numbers where children who are trafficked may get help.
What are you most proud of in your work with the Coalition?
Our SOAP Chapter’s 3 teams of volunteers who go out, faithfully, each month to deliver materials and to interact with the staff at the various venues they visit. The members of these teams have established positive relationships at these locations. At several locations, the staff proudly reported to them that they had identified a child(children) from the posters and reported this to the authorities as the team members had instructed them to do.
Personal Insights and Reflections
What is the best advice you were ever given?
Give credit to those who volunteer their time and energy to the mission of the group. They are the ones who make our SOAP program so successful.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to do something that would make our world a better place. I have done this as a teacher of children and in my roles in various groups. AAUW, the Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and SOAP are organizations that have enabled me to help make the world a better place
What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
I have 3 diverse answers for this. I love to read, sometimes novels but often books about the world around me and how I can act to improve it. An example, is reading about improving the environment, especially, reducing our impact on Climate Change.
My second answer involves being active: hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Third, I enjoy working with fiber by felting or dyeing to create art objects.
What season is your favorite?
I love all the seasons. Being outside and hiking is a favorite activity in all seasons. In the spring, I love looking for spring wildflowers on my hikes. In the summer I love kayaking and swimming. In the fall, I go hiking to look for fall leaves that I use in my art projects. In winter, I get out cross-country skis and snow shoes and hope for snow.
Community Engagement and Support
What does the community need to know about the Coalition?
The community needs to know about the events of the Coalition and people need to know the signs of human trafficking and what can be done to eradicate it. Of course, SOAP needs more volunteers to go out on our monthly visits to deliver posters and information about human trafficking.