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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Collecting loose change for a real change, USA, August 2

Collecting loose change for a real change
Last Updated: 7:57 pm Thursday, August 2, 2007

Collecting loose change for a real change

I recently graduated from the eighth grade at Queen of Angels Montessori School. I am an abolitionist. The Queen of Angels Montessori School Middle School in Madison Place was challenged as their third trimester project to "be the change you wish to see in the world," inspired by the quote from Mahatma Gandhi. For this project, we had to pick one issue or system that we would like to see changed in the world.

While doing research for a topic, I found out something that most people don't know: slavery still exists today. As I looked into this topic more, I found out that approximately 27 million people are enslaved in places such as South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia today. Over half of them are children. I chose this issue for my change project.

To try to solve this issue and abolish modern-day slavery, I worked with the International Justice Mission (IJM) and The Amazing Change (TAC) to try to instill some of their abolitionist programs in my school community. Through IJM, I launched their Loose Change to Loosen Chains campaign. This campaign was developed by seventh-grader Virginian Zach Hunter two or three years ago when he found out the awful truth about slavery.

For this campaign, each family in my school was sent home with a Loose Change to Loosen Chains cup. I asked them to put their loose change in this cup every night. Our goal was to raise $500, which is how much it costs to free one slave. Three weeks later, I collected our school's loose change. Our small school of just 113 families raised $280! It was then sent to IJM who will use this money to free slaves.

It is important to know that the International Justice Mission does not buy slaves. Instead, they conduct a thorough study of the slave's workspace, wage, and treatment before confirming that the person is officially enslaved. They then get in touch with the law and travel to wherever in the world the slave lives and legally frees them. Although IJM does not buy slaves, this process is still very costly and needs the support of others. The Loose Change to Loosen Chains campaign is one way they raise funding for this cause.

During the time of my campaign, I also set out a petition in our school's office. This petition is distributed by the Amazing Change and is used to try to get our government more involved in the anti-slavery movement and to hopefully raise more funding for this issue. Fourty-seven people in my school community signed to show they care.

Slavery is a very real and dangerous issue in our world today and must be stopped. Here is how you can help:
1. Launch a Loose Change to Loose Chains campaign in your community. (Information available at
2. Download the TAC petition for the members of your community to sign and show they care about this issue. (
3. Educate Yourself. The more you know about this issue, the more you can help. To find ways to get involved, visit,, or
Through many different organizations and the programs they are trying to instill, abolitionists around the globe are joining together to abolish

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