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Locally, anti-human trafficking nonprofits are keeping a watchful eye away from the glare of the game day lights — and on areas where victims may be sold for sex. I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern followed the faith-based nonprofit HeartDance Foundationas volunteers went inside Tampa strip clubs to offer help and hope to anyone in need. A group of volunteers with HeartDance, founded 13 years ago, visits five local strip clubs once a month. The night typically begins by breaking bread and coming together in prayer before heading out for the night.
One Saturday in January, the team consisted of two veterans, a college student, a dispatcher for an electrical utility, an optician, a speech therapist, a d mental health counselor and a mother, anti-human trafficking advocate Dottie Groover-Skipper, the founder of HeartDance and a recipient of the Human Trafficking Advocate of the Year award for the State of Florida. HeartDance, a partner of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Forceis among a network of nonprofits working to prevent nightmares in the very clubs selling fantasies.
The organizations build relationships and provide resources to potential victims of human trafficking. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, who he up the task force, spoke about the value HeartDance — and similar organizations — bring to the Tampa Bay area.
Each month, HeartDance brings goody bags with items donated from local churches to the women they visit. Those bags can include anything from makeup remover wipes and chapstick, candy and protein bars, shampoo and conditioner, and books for their children. The strip clubs welcome HeartDance volunteers to meet with the dancers and go back to the dressing rooms. Ewelina Krzanowska told the I-Team what may seem like simple visits, brings much more than goody bags — they bring hope.
Krzanowska is a survivor. She said addiction to pills led her into what she called a world of darkness at 18 years old. You know, you live one life and there is no future dreaming or hoping or anything like that.
And I think it just gave me a feeling of peace. Using that power, Krzanowska now helps others by providing outreach to strip clubs and massage parlors through another Tampa Bay area nonprofit, Created. If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline or call Actions Facebook Tweet. I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern followed the faith-based nonprofit HeartDance Foundation, as volunteers went inside Tampa strip clubs to offer help and hope to anyone in need. By: Kylie McGivern.
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Nonprofit’s outreach to Tampa Bay strip clubs offers help, hope to women who may be sex trafficking victims