In the middle of a youth conference in Tennessee, Andrea Waldrop heard a phrase that gripped her heart – human trafficking. Though she was just entering her senior year of high school, Andrea suddenly knew that she would devote a piece of her life to helping to end the horrors of modern-day slavery. She connected deeply with the stories of vulnerable children that she heard at the conference, as she had been a victim of sexual exploitation herself. But Andrea’s wounds began to find purpose.
Almost five years later, Andrea is living in Tenino, Washington, and using her passion for photography to help bring an end to the human trafficking crisis. Through the organization Art to Aid, Andrea and her father, Stew, are donating a portion of all artwork sales to Touch A Life Foundation. When we spoke with Andrea, she told us, “The opportunity to work with my dad to raise funds for Touch A Life is very exciting to me. I love collaborating with him on projects and tossing around ideas for new items. It means a lot to be able to help others alongside him.”
We asked Andrea what advice she would give to someone who has a creative gift and wants to use it to help end slavery. Her response was, “Do it! One thing I have learned the last few years is that you never know how your creativity can be used to help others and make a difference. It is so rewarding to know that my art, my effort, my heart, is directly helping to end slavery. When I first learned about Art to Aid, I was struck by the idea that an individual could sell their art, which comes from the heart, and it could benefit a non-profit of their choice. I was excited to be able to use my creativity to help others. The process for starting my shop was very easy and streamlined. My shop was up and running in less than 24-hours.”