Everyday, Americans wake up: in cities, in the country, in their homes. They rise to
diaper changes and hot showers, business meetings and Facebook updates.
They wake up in their lives.
But for an estimated 100,000 under aged American children, their lives have been sold.
And each day, each hour, brings about torment, terror, and trauma.
These are the victims of the fastest growing illegal industry today: human trafficking and enslavement.
They are in every state and major city, all over America.
Human trafficking is a very tragic and sensitive subject, but it’s difficult to get the word out because most people aren’t even aware that it’s happening… even though it’s in their own backyards.
Jason Gurvitz and Jordan Marinov decided to take matters into their own hands, teaming up to combat all forms of human trafficking, and eagerly educate and spread awareness on what’s going on behind closed doors that so many of us are blind to.
The two producers developed a non-profit organization, appropriately titled ‘Hidden Tears Project,’ and are diligently working to bring such a horrible issue to light, hoping to expunge it altogether.
The Hidden Tears Project ‘is a media company dedicated to raising awareness and funds to fight human trafficking in America.’ It’s sponsored by Creative Visions Foundation, a 501c3 supporting activists’ utilization of arts and media to positively change the world.
Which is fitting… because that’s exactly what Jason and Jordan are aiming to do.
The two joined forces and created a ‘writers’ room’ with friends who’ve penned for ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Graceland,’ and other popular television dramas. By doing this, they’ve created scripts and have developed multiple ideas for short films, docuseries, animation, and virtual reality.
Their current project- and first ‘Hidden Tears’ film- is based in Chicago. Gurvitz, who co-produced ‘The Submarine Kid’ with friend and ‘Chicago Fire’ star, Monica Raymund, put a call into her, asking her to jump on board. Raymund, who’s vocal with her personal opinions when it comes to social issues, made a documentary for the Childrens Rescue Alliance, and was eager and willing to participate, even requesting to direct one of the films. Gurvitz didn’t hesitate to take her up on her offer, and in turn, appointed her as director of the Chicago film. She also recruited Sam Forman to the team, whose most recent notoriety stems from ‘House of Cards.’ Raymund’s ‘Fire’ co-stars, Eamonn Walker, Christian Stolte, and Joe Minoso, have also signed on to take part in the film.
Marinov tells Examiner that they’re also organizing presentations nationwide in regards to human trafficking, and Andre Dawson, former head of LAPD anti-trafficking who’s worked closely with the FBI, will be delivering atleast one of those. Marinov states that their focus is to reach a wide range of audience members and ‘new people who aren’t educated [on human trafficking].’
‘Tears’ has also partnered with child advocates and charities across the country, most notably, the Red Sand Project. ‘Sand,’ which literally places red-colored sand in the cracks of sidewalks, was sparked by founder, Molly Gochman, in an attempt to raise awareness on the vulnerabilities that can lead to exploitation and human trafficking.
Currently, there’s an Indiegogo page set up for donations to continue funding the ‘Tears’ projects. Included in the perks of donating to the ‘Tears’ cause is receiving one of Lili Haydn’s CD’s. Haydn, a talented Canadian-born violinist and actor, also composes for the ‘Red Sand Project.’
In addition to Haydn’s CD’s, other perks include: Scripts autographed by Monica Raymund and other ‘Chicago Fire’ actors, an autographed ‘Fire’ poster, ‘Hidden Tears’ tote bags, t-shirts, and hoodies, autographed headshots of Raymund, necklaces and earrings, and even the chance to attend the Chicago premiere with the cast, which will entitle you to receive star treatment, and also be included as an associate producer on the film.
The premiere of the Chicago film is tentatively slated for early summer, and will be accompanied by experts and advisors, including Lourdes Nieto, a Chicago Police officer, who deals directly with human trafficking on a daily basis. Anonymous survivors will also be on hand to share their personal stories.
So, what inspired Gurvitz and Marinov to devote their time to passionately raising awareness? The duo has spent quite a bit of time shadowing special forces who rescue children, and that lit a fire under them.
“How can you not do something?” Marinov questions rhetorically. “If you don’t do something, you’re part of the problem.”
Learn more about the ‘Hidden Tears Project’ at HiddenTearsProject.org, donate to their Indiegogo funding page, ‘like’ their Facebook page, and follow the ‘Hidden Tears Project’ Twitter account.