Employee Spotlight: Karen Proctor

Jan 29, 2020

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Emmie Madison
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January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month and with that in mind, Public Trust is pleased to highlight Karen Proctor, Regional Director based in Texas, for her involvement and dedication to the Poiema Foundation. The Poiema Foundation was founded by Rebecca Jowers who envisioned “a world that is aware of sexual abuse and exploitation and will not tolerate it.” The foundation was created to educate the public and raise “awareness in order to prevent sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other methods of sexual exploitation.” They also work with survivors of abuse by providing physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual assistance.
 
Karen was first introduced to the Poiema Foundation at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, during the annual missions’ service where church members and attendees learn about the many organizations Lake Pointe supports both financially and through their volunteer efforts. During this introduction, Karen learned of the organization’s local efforts to find and assist teenagers who had been human trafficked. Later that same month, Karen and the Poiema Foundation crossed paths again when her daughter’s high school volunteer group went to listen to Jowers speak specifically about the human trafficking epidemic. It was during Jowers’ testimony that Karen knew she wanted to assist the organization and help spread the mission.
 
One of the many ways volunteers spend their time with the Poiema Foundation is through the Community Outreach Awareness Program. This involves multiple teams of volunteers driving relentlessly through communities surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth area and distributing fliers and posters of missing minors to motels, truck stops, local businesses, and bus stations. These volunteers speak with the local business owners and employees about the missing minors, detailing what to look for and what to do if they see them. This has been Karen’s area of focus one Saturday a month over the past two years.
 
During these monthly Saturday outreaches, Karen has seen so much. She has seen young girls with looks of desperation and exhaustion outside of motel rooms; she has seen traffickers and their “watchers” who notify each other if they see something or someone that may not belong there. These watchers have even gone so far as to write down the license plates of the volunteers and have even followed them! But Karen often wondered if what they were doing on those Saturdays was even making a difference. This past September, she got her answer.
 
On most Saturdays, Karen and the group of volunteers are given a flier with four minors on it. On this particular Saturday, they were given an additional flier with only one teenage girl on it. She was a sixteen year old who had been missing for three days from the DFW area. While making their rounds to about fifteen motels, an employee pointed to the flier and said she had just seen the missing girl within the past few days. Karen and the volunteers notified 4theOne, another organization dedicated to finding missing teens that works hand-in-hand with Poiema. Just a few days after that Saturday, they found the missing girl; her perpetrator was arrested, and she was reunited with her family. It was at that point that Karen really knew the work she and the other volunteers were doing was making a big difference.
There are many serving opportunities at Poiema, from intel data entry to sitting with the young victims as they testify in court against their perpetrator to the work Karen does on the front lines. In the coming months, Karen’s role is changing to helping these young women at the Poiema safe house. This is where the victims go for recovery, to heal, and to be loved. She will help them with their schoolwork, filling out job applications, applying for college, helping them learn how to cook, and reading with them. Her heart is completely open to helping them however they may need.
In light of Karen’s volunteer efforts and the continued good work of the Poiema Foundation, Public Trust will donate $2,500 to assist the organization’s life saving efforts. To read more about the Poiema Foundation and 4theOne, please visit their websites at www.poiemafoundation.org and www.4theone.org. For detailed stories, visit these organizations on their Facebook and Instagram pages to see exactly how these organizations and many others are making an impact in Texas, the United States, and around the world to save the lives of and rescue these victims. 
The information presented is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation of investment advisory services.

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