The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid 19th century. They were used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The original Underground Railroad was a group that acted and infiltrated.
Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), Timothy Ballard, was deeply inspired by the work and success of the original Underground Railroad in freeing slaves during the 19th Century. Founded in December 2013, O.U.R. was developed as a collaboration of experts working to bring an end to child slavery all over the world. They have developed a team of former CIA, past and current law enforcement and highly skilled operatives that lead identification and extraction efforts, working closely with law enforcement throughout the globe. After victims are rescued, recovery and rehabilitation begins. In addition to services provided abroad, O.U.R. provides assistance to local law enforcement efforts by “providing resources where budget shortfalls prohibit a CSAM (child sexual abuse material), child exploitation or human trafficking operation from going forward.” O.U.R. also provides or facilitates child exploitation investigative training in U.S. jurisdictions.
Timothy Ballard is a father, husband, author and more recently has briefed many world leaders on child sex trafficking. He spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. Ballard has worked undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. In this effort, he has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued countless children from sex slavery. He is an expert at managing Internet investigations, particularly those dealing with file-share networks where pedophiles and traffickers go to trade in child pornography. He has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers and has testified before the United States Congress on best practices to liberate children from sex slavery. In April 2019, Tim went from CEO to a “volunteer CEO,” by taking no salary or benefits.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD CREATED A PATH TO FREEDOM AND WE ARE INSPIRED TO DO THE SAME.
In 2019, O.U.R. saved over 3,000 women from sex slave trafficking. American doctors performed pro-bono surgeries on survivors and their children. O.U.R. trained over 1,500 law enforcement and 25,000 plus people were educated. Twenty-six states were assisted in digital forensics technology, intelligence sharing and special investigative tools, such as electronic detection K-9’s. Domestically, O.U.R. was responsible for 592 arrests, 317 rescues and provided aftercare to over 5,000 survivors. Worldwide, 1,380 survivors were rescued, 850 traffickers arrested and 450 rescue operations took place. In 2020, O.U.R assisted in the rescue of more than 4,700 survivors of human trafficking and in the arrest of 2,700 predators. They have operated in 29 countries and 28 states.
As a company, Maeband has donated to Operation Underground Railroad several times in the past. It is important for us to remember that they are not a government agency but a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. They rely 100% on donations in order to do their work saving children. They have inspired us to choose them as the recipient for our 2020 Charitable Campaign. For every Maeband sold in 2020, we donated $1 to O.U.R. to further assist in fighting child sex trafficking. We invite you to join us in supporting them by sharing their information, following them on social media, become a volunteer or donating directly to their organization.