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Friday, my mom came down from Tulsa to volunteer with me at the New Friends New Life Wings Luncheon with keynote speaker Kevin Costner and honorary co-chair Laura Bush. I was super excited.IMG_20150410_110003_831

New Friends New Life helps formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women and children overcome the poverty, addiction, and other mental issues associated with their backgrounds by providing counseling, job training, financial assistance, education, and more. I was shocked to learn that about 400 teens are trafficked on North Texas streets every night.

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Mom and I signed up to help set up and clean up at the luncheon, and NFNL was nice enough to invite us to eat and enjoy the program. It was held at the Hyatt Regency downtown, which is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever seen. The ballroom was gorgeous and the food excellent, especially the chocolate “bag” full of mousse, berries, and whipped cream. I’m pretty sure everybody who is anybody in Dallas was there. I’m not terribly familiar with the Dallas elite, but I definitely recognized the police chief, David Brown, and Mayor Mike Rawlings. We learned about the new men’s auxiliary group and heard from CBS 11’s Karen Borta about what NFNL does.

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Kevin Costner was hilarious. It’s really not fair how talented, handsome, funny, and kind he is. Save some for the rest of us, Costner! It turns out he is not just a great actor and director but also a musician and athlete and can do a great impression of President George H.W. Bush. Last year’s speaker was Sally Field, so I’m sure they will have another A-lister next year. Try to attend if you can!

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Our jobs were pretty easy. All we did was help set donation cards at each seat (I think there were 1,400 attendees!) and then help pick up donation envelopes at the end. This was really well organized, and we finished early despite a lot of volunteers not showing up. The HR manager from my company was volunteering too. Seeing her was a nice surprise.

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You can help them out by joining their “Circle of Friends,” serving meals, helping with children’s programs, mentoring, volunteering at events like this, providing administrative support, or many other ways. They will also send a speaker out to your function to help educate about the human trafficking problem in Dallas/Fort Worth.

We had some time to kill afterward and went up to the Reunion Tower observation deck.

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It was a great day to give service, bond with my mom, and see Dallas at its most generous and most beautiful.

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