Throughout the month of September, Westmoreland County’s fourth annual RED SAND PROJECT will be on display at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, Westmoreland Hospital, Latrobe Hospital, Frick Hospital and Delmont Library. Many local businesses and community partners throughout Westmoreland County will have displays as well.
Red Sand Project is an art installation, created by artist Molly Gochman, that seeks to raise awareness about human trafficking by asking volunteers across the world to place red sand in the cracks of sidewalks. The grains of sand represent the millions of victims of human trafficking that slip through the ‘cracks’ of our society, and go unnoticed. Men and women, families, community leaders, professionals, survivors, students, and residents from across Westmoreland County are invited to show support for the cause by helping to place the sand in the grout of the sidewalks surrounding Westmoreland County Courthouse and the Courthouse Square. Organized for Westmoreland County by Westmoreland Human Trafficking Task Force and Blackburn Center, this visually riveting event supports the agency’s call to action in the community to end violence. Red Sand Project provides an opportunity for our county to stand together and shine a light on this heinous crime.
Human trafficking is a heinous crime that enslaves an average of 21 million people a year worldwide. Victims are exploited for either sex or labor, sometimes both. Many victims are often overlooked by the public, who either do not believe that human trafficking exists here or do not know how they can help. Victims fall through the cracks of the system when service providers and the justice system do not recognize victims for what they are, and many victims of human trafficking end up jailed or returning to traffickers. Red Sand Project hopes to bring to light these victims, and invites persons from all professions and walks of life to learn more about how they can contribute to the fight of eradicating modern-day slavery.
The Red Sand Project serves two purposes: it will unite the community in positive action, while bringing awareness to the needs of victims of trafficking, worldwide and right here in Westmoreland County. Please join Blackburn Center and the Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force in taking a stand to end human trafficking.
We Need Your Help!
We are looking for volunteers who are willing to partner with us in raising awareness for human trafficking by helping to install the red sand. Anyone is welcome to join us! If you are unable to help with sand installation, be sure to stop by the courthouse to view the sand and show your support by posting a picture with #RedSandProjectGbg.
Want to help? Join us at one of the below dates and locations:
Westmoreland County Courthouse: September 11, 10:00 a.m. (rain dates: September 18, 10:00 a.m.)
Delmont Library: September 7, 4:00 p.m.
Westmoreland Hospital: September 2, 4:30 p.m.
Latrobe Hospital: September 16, 4:30 p.m.
Frick Hospital: September 16, 4:30 p.m
Contact Shelbi via email or by calling 724-837-9540, x 171 to join us creating this art installation. Water will be provided to volunteers. If your business or community group is interested in displaying red sand or awareness materials, please let us know. If you are unable to volunteer, but still want to take part, go to any of the sites to view the art installations, and tag your picture with #RedSandProjectGbg.
As always, if you need help, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give our hotline a call at 1-888-832-2272 (TDD available) to speak to a trained crisis counselor. All calls are free of charge and can be anonymous.