Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Burchett.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started volunteering with anti-human trafficking in 2011 with an international 3 week trip to Thailand, to the second largest global destination for sex-tourism. Human trafficking is incomprehensibly rampant there, needless to say, it was a life changing trip. I also saw many faces of human trafficking in countries across South America during a yearlong travel there in 2012. In 2016 I was approached to come on staff with the non-profit I originally travelled to Thailand with in 2011, Not Abandoned. I accepted the offer and serve as the Director of Engagement.
Last year, after returning from our volunteer team outreach, I began considering how I could share what I have seen over the past 7 years. The stories, and the women (and men) and the plight that so very many are facing around the world. It’s easy to disconnect or see human trafficking as something that happens elsewhere. The reality is, it’s happening in your city, and it’s imperative that you don’t close your eyes, even when it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge.
From reflection the book “Lend me your Voice” was born. Originally I set out to create more of an informational publication, but as I began to write it came out as poetry. It ended up being an anthology of poems retelling common storylines in trafficking, like exploitation, family, culture values, vulnerability, trauma, and hope. My hope is that people will connect with the raw human emotion in these pieces and identify with the humanity of those suffering. I also hope it will move people to action and provoke a desire to help end the global epidemic of human trafficking.
The book was published June 3rd 2018, ranking number #1 in three amazon bestseller categories opening week. So far the response has been favorable. I’ve had many readers write me to say that the book has impacted them in a variety of ways and has encouraged them to get involved in anti-trafficking efforts.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh, many challenges. First, this is not an easy field to be in. It’s very dark and heavy. You are faced with the reality of some of the deepest evil on the face of the planet in human-trafficking. Also, working with a non-profit has its challenges, those being heavily financial – as we run off donations, grants, and (personally) salary raising. There is the knowledge that we can do SO much more, but are limited often in budget. It’s painful to know there are so many women waiting for help, but we can only facilitate space for so many. For example, our employment education center in Thailand is maxed out, all the rooms in our little building are multi-use. We have an adjacent building that we are in the process of purchasing but we are still fundraising to be able to get the down payment, the new space will allow literally hundreds more women to be helped by the services we offer. It’s hard to see the need, especially when it’s women who you have sat with and seen the horror of the daily reality they face.
Also the process of writing a book has been full of challenge, the good kind. I’ve never published, or written a book and I didn’t know the first thing about the process. I am a big researcher, so I spent a good chunk of time researching, (probably about 6 months) taking webinars, reading articles and books before launching in to the process. I ended up doing most everything myself. That said, for the book cover, I reached out to Merrick Porcheddu, founder of Artist Uprising. I had already licensed the cover image and had the overall aesthetic drafted but I needed some help bringing the vision to life. She did a beautiful job.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Angela Burchett story. Tell us more about the business.
In addition to my work in anti-trafficking I have my own business, Whole Soul (Whole Soul Enterprises) it’s a hybrid of resources for men and women. It’s still evolving, but the resources center around heart health, identity formation/transformation, mentoring, and trauma healing.
I am “HeartSync” trained, and I incorporate some of that understanding of how we function in trauma into my work. The past 15 years I have worked in a variety of organizations and functional capacities, nationally and internationally, relating to these themes, no matter the specifics of the job title the thread of these themes remain constant.
In the past I have helped with nonprofit organizational start-ups, program formation/implementation, optimization of human resources, as well as organization programming, international humanitarian aid efforts, facilitating retreats, speaking and leading breakout sessions at conferences etc.
I also started and ran a non-profit project in the Dallas for several years called “Love In Bloom”. We worked with a local vendor who donated flowers that were coming past the sell by date. Working off my background in floral design I would clean, sort, and re-bouquet them, our volunteer team would attach hand written tags with encouraging words tied to the bouquets and disperse them throughout the city of Dallas several times a month. Our goal was to create an atmosphere of kindness and trust within our city. Dallas is such a beautiful city in terms of its people and general attitude towards one another, we wanted to foster that and add our efforts to the mix.
I really love seeing people become whole, soaring into their true potential. Whether that is teaching a class, one on one mentoring, providing resources, or developing programming, I think it’s vital for all of humanity that we each become the best version of ourselves. The most whole and radiant person that we can become.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck per-say, maybe I would say “Providence”.
Personally, I believe in God, He is the director of both of those arenas of my life.
- Lend Me Your Voice: A Freedom Anthology – 7.99 paperback on Amazon, and select local retailers.
- Website: www.angelaburchett.com
- Phone: 12147934781
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @angelaburchett
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/angelamarieburchettauthor
- Other: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07DGGP3B3?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070
Not Abandoned, Dear Papa Photography, Joe Johnson