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 smodcast.com 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.