As Autumn Seftas poured red sand into the cracks of the sidewalk around Excela Westmoreland Hospital, she informed passersby about an issue that affects millions.
Autumn was one of several Seton Hill students who volunteered for the Red Sand Project in Greensburg on Sept. 11. Participants poured red sand into the sidewalk cracks around St. Clair Park, Excela Westmoreland Hospital and the Westmoreland County Courthouse. The sand represents the victims of human trafficking who “fall through the cracks” each year.
“It was crazy how such a little thing as red sand in the sidewalk was able to spread information and attention to such a major issue.”
“The bright red color caused many individuals who were passing by to stop in their tracks,” says Autumn, a sophomore accounting major at Seton Hill. “Most of them asked the volunteers about what they were doing.”
Artist Molly Gochman created the Red Sand Project in 2014 to bring awareness to human trafficking. More than 40 million people are victims of human trafficking, according to the Red Sand Project’s website.
Last month marked the second time the Red Sand Project took place in Greensburg. The Blackburn Center and Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force worked together to make this possible.
“It was crazy how such a little thing as red sand in the sidewalk was able to spread information and attention to such a major issue,” Autumn says. “It brought a huge amount of awareness to an issue that puts the lives of many in danger every day.”
Pictured above: Seton Hill accounting major Alisha Lackey volunteering with the Red Sand Project in Greensburg.