No More Tears presents the Hand in Heart Awards. Um, Hello! YOU are Invited to Join US!
Are you busy on Saturday, October 1st? Well, if not, boy do I have the perfect plan for you. From noon to 3 p.m., Somy Ali of No More Tears, along with a kick ass committee of powerhouse women, including moi, Daniella Frewa, Jilian Sanz, Lauren Gnazzo, Iva Kosovic, Soledad Lowe, Rachel Alpert, Lala Pereira, Julia Ford-Carther, Rosario Chozas, Marcella Novela, Gigi Ganatra and Natalia East, will gather at the Sacred Space, as we honor our friends of major importance. With only a few available tickets that remain, lets celebrate Belkys Nerey, Criselda Breene, Iran Issa Kahn, Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey and Tere Blanca….while saving the lives of women who have been sex/human trafficked and need the help of Somy, doctors, rescue, and beyond.
On a more personal level, here is my story, and you will further understand how and why I decided to commit to such an organization.
No More Tears is a non-profit organization that aids victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. It is because of Daniella Frewa, board member of No More Tears, that I met Somy a year ago. Her story touched my heart, hence a great event that a group of our local philanthropic ladies hosted at Jimmy Choo in Merrick Park in February this past year. At this event, Somy shared her story. Most recently, at our board meeting, hosted at the ‘Toys for Boys’ office in Miami, she reminded me of her journey. She explained: “my story began at age 5. It was both sexual and physical abuse by house help, and my mom was a victim of domestic violence by my father. It was the cook, when I was 5 years old, then at 9 years old, it was the guards at my gate. I was told by my father not to talk about it because no one would marry me. ‘You will be deemed impure,’ even though I was 5 years old, and subsequently, I would bring shame to the family. This all happened in Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is a common thing, so my mother moved us to America when I was 12. She wanted us to get away from the abuse. It was three of us: my mom, brother and I. A few years ago, my father apologized, donated to NMT a little, he could have given more. We moved to North Miami. At 15, I moved to India, to find this actor in Bollywood, who was the equivalent of Brad Pitt, but in India. It is a crazy story, but when I returned, I became a model, and at my first agency I went to give my photos to, he was on the couch! He called me that evening, getting my contact information from my composite card. We never left each other, then got engaged. He cheated on me 2 months before the wedding, with Miss World. I dumped him and moved home with 940,000 usd. When I started NMT in 2007, I put 300,000 usd. into NMT and the rest I bought houses, and today, I live off the rent from the properties. That is how I am able to focus all of my time on saving victims of abuse and trafficking. It took me a year from ’07 to ’08, where I reached out to lawyers, doctors, schools to get resources together, then the FBI, homeland security and I let them know that we exist, provide services, and if victims need our services, we are here.”
Since No More Tears was started in 2007, there have been 502 adult victims and 2100 children that have used the services and been saved by the organization and its available resources. Somy tells me “our second social function is to raise awareness. We need funds to continue our work. People should know that Miami is the 3rd largest city in the nation for human trafficking, both Labor and Sex. The definition of Labor is people bringing servants, house workers, not feeding, under paying, abusing and/or holding their passports. Sexual trafficking happens in small US towns in the US, people who want to be a model, musician, they get lured in online. Through outlets like Craigslist, people put ads up online. It is how they lure kids in.”
Last but not least, here are two true stories, so you really understand that these horrors exist, in our back yard! There was a 15-year old girl. She was lured in from Missouri, from a website. She wanted to be a musician. This 15 year old, well, she was raped by many men, in 2 days, a total of 30 men, and we sent her, facilitated her to go back home. Girls and boys come to be celebrities, stars, then are trafficked. Not necessarily people from other countries. The department of homeland security and FBI refers them. Then, there was a Jordanian woman who was brought here for an arranged marriage. She had a dead fetus inside of her. She was tied to a bed. She was abused, in a room for months. By the grace of god, she escaped, running in to a Publix parking lot in the middle of the night and asked someo`ne in a car for help. They called the police who in turn called us. This is an example of what No More Tears deals with on a daily basis….SO, come support us, next Saturday! 200 of Miami’s most glamorous, philanthropy loving souls will join for a cocktail reception, silent auction, awards ceremony, live music and a very fancy brunch with Zonin vino….PLUS, an AMAZING silent auction that includes designer handbags from Roger Vivier and Salvatore Ferragamo, gift baskets from La Prairie and Trish McEvoy, Consign of the Times, Boca Tan Membership, Fit Mamma and Phat Buddha Gift Certificates, and LOTS more!