In Mumbai, he encountered human trafficking in one of the world's largest red-light districts and learned that roughly 50,000 women and children are trapped in sexual exploitation in an eleven-square-block radius. The next day, he witnessed a restoration home, where children from that same red light area were smiling and hopeful as they recovered from their trauma. These kids were becoming teachers, lawyers, and nurses—his faith expanded along with his determination to do something about trafficking.
Upon returning home to Seattle in 2008, having seen the stark contrast between trafficking and freedom firsthand, Jeremy turned his attention to the 4.8 million women and children still living in exploitation.
Using his passion for mountaineering, a new adventure began. He climbed Mount Rainier with some of his friends and came up with the idea to use their climb to raise money to fight human trafficking. The group of climbers decided to set a goal of $14,410 in 14 days—one dollar for every vertical foot of the mountain. They called it Climb for Captives.
They exceeded their fundraising goal, and more friends wanted to climb to raise more money to fight human trafficking. So they climbed another mountain. As their campaign grew, they struggled to find organizations to support who were combatting human trafficking at the scale needed to address such a global issue. As the climbs continued, a community of friends began dreaming together about what it would take to build an organization that could take on exploitation around the world. In 2012, Atlas Free, originally called Rescue:Freedom, was born.
Atlas Free set out on a big mission to put sexual exploitation out of business, and an even bigger mission to reimagine how the fight was being fought. Setting up headquarters in Kirkland, Washington, Atlas Free opened its global doors in 2012 and has since served 635,169 people through our local partners in 29 countries.
As a nonprofit, Atlas Free is building a global movement uniting funders, adventurers, and everyday people with the best local organizations in the world. Today, our team specializes in finding and accelerating the most effective frontline initiatives and creating resources and tools to scale the fight against human trafficking. No one organization can do it all, but one can coordinate it all into a holistic and strategic plan, giving people one place to make a real difference.