Traffick Free

Gift Under the Tree 2014

From now through the end of the year, you can give on behalf of your loved ones to Traffick Free using either the gift tags or gift certificates below. A click on the appropriate image will download a PDF file for you to print your own tags and certificates!! This is a great way to say you care about the over 24,000 women and girls who are engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago every year AND to educate your friends and family about this important mission.

Click here to donate.

Thank you for your support!

stand in the gap

As you may have noticed, or perhaps you were at our "Let's Do This!" event on February 11, 2014 when we announced, that we are moving towards opening Chicago's first 24-hour drop-in center for self-identified female persons engaged in commercial sexual exploitation. We are very careful in that wording to not include words and phrases like "victims" nor "sex-trafficking" because coming to this drop-in center has to be a choice. Many victims do not self-identify as such for years, if ever in their lives. We also do not want to limit our services to those who can be defined as a "sex-trafficking" victim or survivor by any legal sense. If a female person has been engaged in commercial sex and is looking to find a place of refuge, we are simply that - standing in the gap for her to provide immediate tangible needs and dignity. Come as you are. Tell us what name you would like us to call you by. Drop in as often as you would like.

After the years of research our volunteer Program Development Team put in to compile a Needs Assessment, we know that we want to stand in the gap 24 hours because we know that not everyone who would utilize a drop-in center will also utilize an overnight shelter. We know that clean clothes and a clean body can be a first step towards a feeling of dignity. So we want to provide showers, washers and dryers, and a bank of clean clothes to change into if she desires. We know that long hours demand rest so we want to provide quiet spaces to sit, take a nap, and for her to put her feet up. We also know that we are all human in a very social world so if you want to come in and check your social media pages, come on in.

In all honesty though, we need help. We have always been a volunteer-driven organization relying on hours devoted by working and studying adults in the Chicago area. We need more of those hours from more of you. 

We also need to increase our finances by the 100s of thousands of dollars to achieve this stand in the gap. Consider donating your best gift by clicking the "Donate" button to the right.

Also, please bear with us as we work on rolling out a new website by the end of 2014 to share with you our progress towards seeing these long-term goals come to fruition.

Find out more by simply contacting [email protected] Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Traffick Free shifts focus towards emergency services

Twenty-four hour emergency services specifically for victims and survivors of human trafficking in the Chicago area do not currently exist. Therefore, after extensive research, Traffick Free is officially moving forward to fill a need in this gap. While Traffick Free’s current strategic initiatives in producing the Freedom Forum, 5k Run Against Traffick, and Sex ReBranded will continue in 2014, the organization will be shifting its focus to providing a trauma-informed and survivor-informed drop-in center.

The Center for Impact Research found that an upward estimate of 25,000 women and girls are commercially sexually exploited each year in Chicago. Based on this and other research, Traffick Free has spent years learning from local and national non-profit organizations, and law enforcement officials, to understand the critical components of an effective drop-in center, such as properly trained staff, client-centered services, and a co-locating model. Utilizing our volunteer-driven organizational model, as well as the collaborative efforts of local experts, Traffick Free plans to operate the drop-in center at times that other organization’s drop-in centers are not open, such as overnight and holiday hours. With enough resources, the center will be open around-the-clock.

In this next phase, Traffick Free is looking to partner with individuals, community organizations and corporations that are committed to the establishment of a drop-in center.  We have numerous ways to get involved, including assistance with securing a location, providing renovation skills, and offering supplies.  Interested parties should contact [email protected].

Traffick Free is a faith-based organization that seeks to provide the greater metropolitan area of Chicago with tools and sustainable programs to combat human trafficking and transform the lives of victims, perpetrators and communities. Since its inception in 2011, Traffick Free has led the way in producing education and awareness events tailored for audiences of various ages and various levels of expertise on the issue of human trafficking. More information can be viewed at



Let's Do This

Join us Tuesday, February 11th from 7:00-9:00pm at Paperish Mess and Let’s Do This!

After three years of signature events, speaking engagements, and collaborative productions with our partners to raise awareness and education about human trafficking in the Chicago area, Traffick Free is ready to move into our next phase - AND WE WANT YOU WITH US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!

Come to this very cool venue where we will be asking you to commit to the journey with us with your time and/or resources while you enjoy fair-trade wine and chocolate and be in the know.

Together, Let's Do This.


National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Join Traffick Free this Saturday, January 11th from 2-4pm at Overflow Coffee Bar for the kick off to Praxis Month, in honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Come take part in learning more about our month of action and ways you can be involved.

5K Video

Traffick Free 4th Annual 5K

Thanks to all who attended our 5k Run Against Traffick in 2014! our 2015 5k will be held on saturday, september 12, 2015. mark your calendars & see you at the starting line!

  • What: 5k Run Against Traffick
  • Where: Diversey Harbor, Lincoln Park - 2601 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL
  • When: Saturday, September 12, 2015
    • Step off: 9:00AM
  • Who: You!

You have the opportunity to start your own CAMPAIGN FOR DIGNITY to fundraise for Traffick Free and our upcoming 24-hour emergency drop-in center! Get started HERE!

Want to help us promote the 5k? Download the media kit HERE to share on social media and let your friends & family know you're running and want to end human trafficking! If you want posters and flyers to put up in your town, business or church, e-mail [email protected] to get your hands on some!

Already registered? RSVP on our official 5k Run Against Traffick Facebook Event Page

Packet Pick-up

September 10 & September 11
10am - 8pm
Universal Sole - 3052 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL

*note that shirts may not look exactly like in the photo*

Frequently Asked Questions

It says 5k Run Against Traffick. Can I walk in Traffick Free's 5k?

Absolutely! We encourage anyone who wants to take a stand against human trafficking to come and participate. You can run, jog, walk or stroll in our 5k.


Will there be water stations along the course?

There are no water stations, but there are water fountains on the course. There will be water at the start and finish line.

Do you need volunteers?

Yes! We couldn't do this without our dedicated volunteers! We need course marshalls, cheerleaders, people to man our registration, gear check, and water tables, post-race brunch servers, photographers, videographers, sound technicians, volunteers to arrive early for set up and to stay late for tear down. Fill out the volunteer form here

Can I bring my stroller?

Yes. We encourage families with young children to participate. However, for their safety, we ask that any children be kept in their stroller at all times. All participants with strollers will be corralled at the back of the running field and will start once all runners and walkers have crossed the starting line.

Is this a timed race?

No. We are considered a "fun run" because we are not able to offer official chip timing. We are hoping that this will change as our event continues to grow and our running field expands. There will be a clock available at the Start and Finish lines for you to calculate your time. However, we recommend personal watches to get your most accurate time.

Is there parking available?

Yes, but it's limited. We recommend walking, biking or using public transportation to get to the event site.

If you do need to drive to the race, there is metered/pay parking available in a lot adjacent to the driving range at 2800 N. Lake Shore Dr. #1 and at St. Joseph's Hospital - 2960 N. Lake Shore Dr. (corner of Oakdale & Lake Shore Dr.). Lincoln Park Zoo is also nearby for parking, see their website for rates.

What happens if it rains on race day?

If there is no lightning or thunder present, we will hold the race rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the race will be canceled and we will relay that information through our website and social media. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer refunds in the event of cancellation due to inclement weather.

Can I mail in my registration?

Yes. We are accepting mail-in registrations, though, we encourage you to use our online registration.

Download Registration Form

Can I register the day of the event?

Yes, but we strongly encourage you to register online before the event. Please keep in mind that we have a limited number of spots and they are available on a first come, first served basis and we sold out last year. If you plan to register the day of the event, please bring your registration form, signed waiver and registration fee. Registration table opens at 6:30AM.

Download Registration Form

Is there a post-race party to celebrate and meet with Traffick Free volunteers?

Yes! We'd love to meet you and personally thank you for being a part of our Annual 5k Run Against Traffick. Our post race brunch will be held on site. You can purchase tickets when registering online or when you realize how hungry you are after the race if there are any left, they are only $5! The staff would love to chow down with you!

Post race brunch is $5 and includes a juice (apple, orange or cranberry), piece of fruit (apple or banana), and a croissant sandwich with the option of the following fillings:  ham/swiss, spinach/feta, bell pepper/cheese, sundried tomato/mozzarella.


Download Race Map PDF

View Larger Map


September 2011 Volunteer Opportunities


Many of our readers know about human trafficking and are ready to do something about it. Traffick Free is growing in areas of need. Your immense desire to get to know what you can do has prompted us to start monthly meetings for you to find out how your skills and talents will be best utilized.

We currently need volunteers for the Freedom Run 5k, both passing out flyers and helping day of. If interested, contact [email protected].

For information on our monthly volunteer meetings, please check our facebook page or follow us on twitter.

Films Shed Light On Chicago’s Gritty Side


Two recent documentaries showcase what “the life” looks like in Chicago and helps change perceptions of gangs and prostitution right here in Chicago.

Read about what “The Interrupters” and “Prostitution: Leaving the Life” are all about and where you can find these films playing .

Hidden Labor, Sex Trade Alive In Wisconsin


Human trafficking is being recognized as a huge problem in Wisconsin, as noted by task force detective Dawn Jones of the Milwaukee Police.

Read this excellent in-depth article on specific examples of both sex and labor trafficking, including one woman’s story of recovery and hope, what human trafficking looks like in this area, what the challenges are and what’s being done about it.

Read article

Traffick Free is an initiative to end trafficking in Chicago.

We exist to elevate justice and communicate the reality of human trafficking in our world. We work to end modern-day slavery by developing awareness campaigns, educating local communities, partnering with organizations that combat trafficking and aid victims, intervening in at-risk situations, promoting enforcement of legislature, and encouraging the prosecution of traffickers.