The Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office has raised more than $6,000 in cash and in-kind donations for anti-human trafficking organization Bridging Freedom.
The fundraiser was part of the office’s monthly charity campaign headed by Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano. Fasano chose the charity ahead of Tampa’s Super Bowl LV, an event often accompanied by an influx of human trafficking.
“It is through the dedicated people who work for Bridging Freedom and other victim advocacy services that human and sex trafficking will one day come to an end,” Fasano said in a news release. “Through the support of a generous public, the funds raised will open doors to victims so they may escape the enslavement caused by traffickers.”
The organization Bridging Freedom works to fight human trafficking and assist survivors by providing resources to victims and educating the public. The nonprofit provides victims with a safe campus, therapy, and life skills.
“Human Trafficking is a $150 billion dollar per year criminal enterprise creating millions of victims that takes an enormous toll on our kids,” the nonprofit’s board chair Alan Wilkett, a former Pasco Sheriff’s Office corporal, said in a news release. “Children, both girls and boys, have their childhoods stolen from them by traffickers and buyers. This partnership with the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office helps to ensure the continuance of restoring life.”
Bridging Freedom operates out of Pasco County, and works with several organizations across the Tampa Bay area, including the Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking, Tampa Bay FBI Innocence Lost Initiative and St. Petersburg College Center for Human Trafficking Awareness.
“With the donation from January’s charitable project, Bridging Freedom will be able to provide critical services for minor female victims of human trafficking,” Wilkett said in a news release. “Thank you, Pasco residents, for your generosity, the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office members and staff for your engagement, and Mike Fasano for your unwavering support. Together we make a collective statement — Human Trafficking has no place in Pasco County.”