Through a series of inexplicable events, some slow changes to my heart, and a decision or two, I’ve come into contact with someone at a local non-profit that seeks to serve and defend victims of Tucson Childhood Sex Trafficking. When I emailed Megan to ask her about the needs of Sold No More (previously Streetlight Tucson), I was planning on answering their phones, cleaning their floors, and really just starting with the lowest-level of skill required. In my experience with Ronald McDonald House and a few other organizations, that’s what they feel comfortable having new volunteers do. Then, if the volunteer sticks around and grows to love the organization, they find a better fit.
However, the needs Megan listed for me were much more involved, and she even listed a few that she thought would fit me well, since I’d included on my application that I am an English teacher. The most manageable need on her list seemed to be developing a book club curriculum. So, even though they hadn’t yet accepted me as a volunteer, I ordered the book Renting Lacy.
It’s a relatively short book (162 pages) written to be accessible and compelling, while also informative. It weaves together a narrative of true stories of Child Sex Trafficking, presenting the issue from multiple perspectives, including pimps and buyers.
I’ll refrain from attempting to describe what I’ve learned from Lacy, because words aren’t up to the task. However, I do recommend that you give a couple of hours of your life and read this book, regardless of your current thoughts and beliefs on the sex industry, it is a devastating piece of life, and worth your time and effort. Be warned, though, the tactful writing will not soften the blow of the shockingly mature content. Author Linda Smith may use the gentlest of words possible for this subject matter, but the tragedy and horror of such stories are inescapable.