Coming up on October 26, the nonprofit Partners Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) is hosting its annual Light the Path charity event at the Chenal Event Venue in Little Rock. Themed as “a ‘white out’ event to stamp out darkness,” the event will further the organization’s efforts to combat sex trafficking and offer hope to survivors. 


The entertaining evening will feature both a live and silent auction, music by Pat Becker and the Rex Bell Band and food prepared by Little Rock culinary icon, Master Chef Evette Brady. AY Media Group President and Publisher Heather Baker will serve as emcee. The nonprofit encourages all guests to wear white in an effort to “shine a light through the darkness” of sex trafficking. 


Light the Path


“We are beyond excited to hold this year’s exciting Light the Path Charity Event,” said PATH CEO Mark Smith. “Every dollar raised from this event will go directly into the fight against trafficking right here in Arkansas. From serving victims to prevention through education and raising awareness across our state, PATH is making a significant difference right here in our own backyard.”


PATH began operating in 2011 as the state’s first anti-trafficking agency and has grown quickly in the 12 years since. From opening a safe house and establishing the first HELP-line in Arkansas shortly after its founding, to working with the state legislature to establish anti-trafficking laws and bolster awareness education, PATH continues to lead the charge when it comes to preventing exploitation and supporting survivors. 


Light the Path


The nonprofit’s multifaceted approach includes rescue, restoration, prevention and education. In addition to rescuing survivors and attempting to restore their sense of normalcy following a traumatic experience, PATH also prioritizes community education and outreach to help prevent incidents of sex trafficking before they happen.


PATH’s survivor resources include safe houses and a day center – the first facility of its kind in the nation – where survivors have access to resources and community. The group also facilitates the Flights to Freedom program, which provides transportation back to Arkansas for rescued children who have been trafficked and rescued outside the state. 


Light the Path


Other resources offered by PATH include therapy and life skills classes, as well as work, housing and transportation support. PATH’s education targets an array of different groups, from school students and educators to church and civic organizations. PATH also supports programs like Truckers Against Trafficking that further spread awareness and education. In addition, the group holds regular victim services training classes where attendees learn to recognize sexual abuse, understand its causes and step in to help victims. 


PATH’s most recent fundraising effort is called Project Homecoming, during which the group aims to raise $200,000 to open a new safe house for survivors. PATH is also working to expand its footprint across the state, with a recently announced facility in El Dorado allowing the organization to have a more consistent presence in the area. 


Light the Path


PATH prides itself on being a survivor-focused and citizen-driven operation. The staff at PATH are motivated by the belief that with education and conviction, anyone can become an advocate in the anti-trafficking movement. Awareness is a major part of PATH’s work, and the group relies on donations and volunteers to advance the anti-trafficking cause. 


PATH’s Light the Path event will take place on Thursday, October 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets to the event can be purchased here for $75 per person. Find out more about PATH’s work on the group’s website or on Facebook


READ ALSO: AY’s Heather Baker to Be Honored at 10th Annual Wowapalooza