Barbara & Carrie Anderson's Story
When I was in my early thirties, the President of AB Women in Massachusetts, Judy Dean, approached me to participate on the board because she wanted a younger person’s voice and perspective. Someone wanted to hear what I had to say…. Through AB Women over the years, I learned that I had a voice and the importance of using it for those whose could not be heard. Over the past 30 years, AB Women have mentored me as an officer, AB Women President of MA and then as National President of AB Women. It allowed me a platform to share my faith and use my voice for those who could not be heard. I had the amazing opportunity of meeting women from around the world to hear their voices and their concerns for women.
After feeling God’s call to use my voice, I realized the need to create All Hands In. A ministry where we could use our voice to educate and advocate for women survivors of human trafficking. We would be a voice for the voiceless. Our organization has been given many opportunities to share and advocate over the past 10 years in addition to offering various programs and assistance to women survivors locally. It is my hope that they will realize they have a voice and the importance of sharing their story with others in order to educate our communities on the issue of human trafficking. Part of the reason I began All Hands In was that I had a daughter who was in middle school at that time. This was the age that some girls get caught up in trafficking here in the United States. Survivors of trafficking and exploitation are someone’s daughter, sister, mother….. If my daughter needed assistance I would hope that someone would use their voice to advocate for her. Carrie was the one who named our organization. When we were driving in the car she said that we needed all hands to come together to end human trafficking and All Hands In was born.
As a mom of an amazing daughter, it is my hope that I have been an example and have taught her the importance of using your voice. So many AB Women locally and nationally have mentored Carrie through the years when she was an AB Girl. We have both been blessed by so many women through AB Women/AB Girls ministry.
When I was younger, one of the things that I looked forward to the most was the annual AB Women’s gatherings. It not only meant I was able to see old friends, but it was also a chance to make new ones. As someone who tends to like spending time on their own, I attribute my comfort with meeting new people, with the many times throughout my childhood my mom would take me along with her and introduce me as her daughter. Even more so when she went into office as national president. While I may not have actively been watching, or even understanding, what my mom was doing, she was always teaching me lessons that would be a basis for some of my own beliefs. But, the most important lesson she’s taught me was the power of a single voice. I can still remember when she first brought up how I had the ability to incite change just by speaking up; that it was within our power to lend our voices for the voiceless. It was as much a life lesson as it was a continuous personal challenge. There was now the ever present question of “how can I use my voice”? It’s still a question I ask myself to this day and will continue to be in the future.
Barbara & Carrie:
This Mother’s Day, remember that as women/girls of faith, God has given us a voice to use to make a difference in our church, school, community, country and the world. Let us bring our voices together for the world to hear.