At UnBound, we believe every person has a unique part to play in bringing an end to human trafficking. That’s why we encourage everyone (regardless of your career, age, or background) to get involved. Volunteers, survivors, and donors are truly the faces of UnBound; we wouldn’t be who we are without you! Below we highlight a few of the men involved with the work of UnBound: Brian Claus, Matthew Harrell, and members of Baylor University’s Kappa Omega Tau.
Brian Claus has worked with UnBound since January of 2013, not long after the official launch. He and his wife, Stephanie, initially felt led to join UnBound right after they had completed the discipleship school at Antioch Community Church, the host church of UnBound. Having previously worked as missionaries overseas and now settled in Waco, they were looking for ways to get more involved. They met Antioch’s missions pastor, who suggested getting involved with UnBound, as it had just gotten off the ground and needed some administrative help. Brian stated that he had, “known about human trafficking from reading about it and hearing about it and had a heart for justice. It seemed like a good fit.” He began by volunteering his extra time, but as things began to move more rapidly, he was able to use his missionary support to join the team part time under the title of Operations Manager.
Since then, Brian has faithfully served as UnBound has grown beyond Waco, both in the United States and worldwide. When asked how UnBound has affected his life, Brian said:
“Something that has really impacted me was our ability to help rescue victims of human trafficking. In April of 2015, UnBound got a call about a woman and family that had been trafficked from Central America needing our help. Our staff was really small at the time, so my wife and I ended up getting the call while we were at our church small group. Our friends stayed with our kids while we drove to pick up this woman and her kids. My wife and I speak Spanish so we we’re able to communicate with her and bring her back to Waco to receive help. Our team has been walking with her for almost four years, and she recently got married! It’s been so cool to see her come full circle and be walking in freedom.”
Brian works to unify and support all of the UnBound chapters. In Waco, he is the backbone of UnBound “behind the scenes” creating systems and programs that assist in survivor advocacy, program development and fundraising.
Matthew Harrell is a senior at Baylor University and member of UnBound College. He has devoted his time this semester to volunteer with the UnBound Boys Middle School Prevention Program. Once a week, Matthew, along with other volunteers, educate local middle school boys on various lessons such as social media safety, healthy boundaries in relationships, basics of human trafficking and much more. Matthew is one of the pioneers of this new boys program, working to prevent victimization and perpetration of child sex trafficking in our community.
When asked why he chose to volunteer with the boys prevention program, Matthew said:
“Personally, I wanted to learn how to engage the issue and make a difference in my community. I also felt like boys need to be informed so that they know how to support and protect their peers who could be at-risk.”
Kappa Omega Tau at Baylor University
The men of Kappa Omega Tau have supported UnBound in the fight against human trafficking as well. A couple of weeks ago, members of KOT stopped by the UnBound Waco office to deliver a donation of more than $15,000! The money was raised through the T-shirt sales at KOT’s annual Christmas on 5th event. We met with two of the Christmas on 5th Chairmen, Ethan Howard and Garrett Riffe, that were inspired and influential in the decision to partner with UnBound this past year. Garrett Riffe stated that “Partnering with UnBound gave KOT a chance to make a difference right here in Waco by enabling an organization that is already equipped with the expertise required to fight trafficking.” UnBound could not be more excited about the impact of this generous donation.
Everyone (no matter what gender, age, education, or background) has a voice and unique skill set to be utilized in the fight to end slavery! To the men of UnBound — we are so grateful for the ways in which you have risen to that occasion and are passionate about this cause!
Written by Mary Conley Thompson
Communication and Marketing Intern, UnBound Waco