A local Ginger Bread Lady is working to fight sex trafficking in Tucson. Michelle Gilliand gave herself the nickname after starting a business to raise money by selling baked goods for Sold No More. The Tucson-based non-profit that uses awareness and prevention to combat that ongoing threat of slavery that millions face every year.
"They go into schools and into medical centers and train people how to see victims of trafficking," said Gilliand. "They also train children in the schools how to see signs of abuse and give them the definition of sex trafficking so they know if they have been victims in the past."
"In Tucson, there's a high level of poverty and with that comes a high level to exploit people in the promise of them making a little money. It also happens because we do have such a high runaway percentage here in Tucson and that is a big sector of people who choose to be exploited because they don't have a home and they don't have people that are missing them."
Earlier this year, Gilliand decide to use her love of baking to help support the organization.
"It was a little side thought I thought, 'Maybe, you know, I bake bread, I love it, maybe I can sell a little so that I can make some money for Sold No More on the side by doing that,.' So, I baked my first few loafs and sold them really quickly and thought, 'This could be something bigger.' So I kept going and now I'm selling in markets and I do two to three of them a week and that is pretty much my full-time job now."
Gilliand has a full menu of baked goods that she makes fresh from her kitchen each week. She donates 100% of the proceeds to Sold No More. You can find her at Plaza Palomnio on Saturdays from 9 to 1 p.m..