On Saturday, Dec 1, 2012, PPLA was proud to be part of a beautiful celebrity studded red carpet charity event in honor of the organization, Saving Innocence. The event took place at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills and was hosted by Twilight star Kellan Lutz. The gala dinner was in honor of taking a stand against sex trafficking here in the U.S. It was very inspiring to see so many celebrities come out to help fight for this cause.
I could see that Kellan Lutz was extremely grateful to be hosting the event. He was also being honored by GQ Magazine’s Gentlemen’s Fund for his work with the Saving Innocence organization. I was able to get some wonderful feedback from Kellan, Kim Biddle (Founder and Executive Director), Caitlin Crosby, and Jason Kennedy on the red carpet. Some of other celebrity guests that attended included Zachary Levi, Joel David Moore, AnnaLynn McCord, Marielle Jaffe, Catheryn Brockett, Rebecca St. James, Grammy Award-winning recording artist David Hodges, and Miss USA 2009, Kristen Dalton.
Saving Innocence focuses on restoring child victims sex trafficking through partnerships with local law enforcement and also mobilizes communities to prevent abuse and increase local neighborhood safety. In fact, most of the sex trafficking in the U.S. is going on right here in Los Angeles. In 2012 alone, Saving Innocence has already worked with over 150 U.S. citizens. Current statistics show that over 100,000 children are victimized by commercial sexual exploitation in the U.S. annually.
I was very happy to see the reaction and impact this event had on the celebrity attendees. I asked many of the stars what they wanted people to take away form an event like this and recieved heart-warming responses. Kellan Lutz said, “I love charity. Anyone can give back, in any way shape or form, but as an actor we have a platform where we have to influence a wide range of people…this is not just a charity where you can give money, you can actually see change and it’s all about helping these girls and giving them what they need.”
Kellan, who has a sister himself, went on to discuss that “the scariest part is to kow that this is happening in our backyard, right here in Los Angeles, to little girls as young as twelve .” Caitlin Crosby said, “We should not leave the issue at knowledge, do something about it, whether it be donate to Saving Innocence or getting the word out as much as possible.” Jason Kennedy added that, “It’s not that difficult to help out for anyone, you just have to help out here in the states, get educated about it.”
Saving Innocence Founder/Executive Director, Kim Biddle, explained to me why she has dedicated her life to this organization. “I want people to know that if we team together, we can stop this and reabolish slavery. History will look back this time and say what did we do with this issue? We have the opportunity to unite and say not on our soil, our watch, slavery should not exist in our own country, with our own children. It is crazy to think that it is happening in the neighborhoods that we drive by everyday. Our girls are sold on Hollywood and Sunset blvd.”
Biddle is truly a remarkable woman to have met.This conversation really hit home for me. It is important to continue to raise as much awareness as possible for this issue, especially here in California, and to donate to this cause if you can. We need to restore the cultural values of innocence and human worth. It was a true honor to attend this charity event.
To donate, visit Saving Innocence.