Public Response – A Humbling Experience

A little less than a week ago the 2nd half of SMinterview aired on Kevin Smith’s podcasting site  The public response has been an incredible thing to behold. To say the audience’s feedback has been positive would be putting it mildly.

I have received communications from a wide variety of people, living all around the world. Hundreds of letters have poured into my inbox exclaiming love and support for The Wayne Foundation. Each message had a common factor; people felt inspired. Inspiration to do good in this world. Inspiration to triumph over adversity. Inspiration to find forgiveness.

I never anticipated my story would generate such an impassioned response. I assumed we would raise a little bit of start up money for The Wayne Foundation. The truth is, my expectations were low. This is surely due to a lack of confidence in myself; fearful of starting a risky entrepreneurial venture and guarding against past emotional scars. Now that my entire story has aired, the audience has completely proven me wrong. Not only do people care, they want to be part of my vision for the Wayne Foundation.

Simply put, the public response to my story and The Wayne Foundation has left me humbled. Every message I read pushes me to to strive harder to fight for those children currently victimized by sex trafficking. My fight against injustice has become Our fight, all because of a podcast. You all have made your passion and support apparent to me. I am dedicated to making The Wayne Foundation a success no matter how hard the journey may be. If we work as a T.E.A.M. I know together we can make this world a better place. The fight against sex trafficking is a battle that can not be won alone. Thank you for your support!

The Wayne Foundation T.E.A.M.

In August 2010 filmmaker Kevin Smith and I launched a newly formed non-profit organization called The Wayne Foundation. Our charity is dedicated to spreading awareness about the horrors of sex trafficking, and providing direct victim assistance to minor victims within the United States

In March 2011 Kevin released our podcast ‘SMinterview’ part 1. During the recording I discuss with him my experiences of childhood sexual abuse and trafficking. Leading up to this interview I had spoken rarely about my childhood with anyone. I spent over 10 years pretending the first half of my life was just a bad dream. In my experience, many people have a difficult time discussing or relating to a tale of such trauma and woe. When in social situations I learned to just gloss over all the negative commentary, or to avoid questions altogether. Saying I was anxious about the interview with Kevin and its eventual publication is a gross understatement. I had no idea how the public would react. Fear preoccupied my mind day and night for months. The disquiet could only be relived by focusing on the true goal of the interview, spreading awareness that child sex trafficking exists right here in America.

The day arrived for Kevin and I to record our podcast and I confidently powered through telling my story. My nerves were not calmed by the fact that this was the first time Kevin and I had met face to face. Inside I was an emotional wreck, but I kept it together. I flew home to Florida to await the postcast’s public debut. Insomnia became my constant companion.

Within hours of SMinterview being posted to I was bombarded by emails and Twitter messages. Every message I have received has been kind and supportive. Many of these correspondence have brought me to tears. Some have been brave enough to share their own personal experiences with me. Donations for The Wayne Foundation flooded in not only from the United States, but from around the world. Individuals on Twitter and Facebook took it upon themselves to become fundraisers and promoters for Wayne Foundation. All my fears dissipated overnight as it became apparent to me that people were inspired by my actions.

T.ogether E.veryone A.chieves M.ore

This is the Wayne Foundation’s official motto; an acronym I believe we can all agree is true. Every supporter out there has inspired this motto, because the truth is, with out all of you Wayne Foundation will achieve nothing. Just as I inspired the audience, the audience has in turn inspired me. Support, in my mind, is not defined by monetary contributions. Supporters give their time, devotion, skill set, and love to Wayne Foundation. I want to thank each and every supporter from the bottom of my heart. It is with your help that we will make what was once just an idea, into a viable and functioning reality. The fear that once occupied my mind has now been replaced by enthusiasm, all because of you, my dear friends.