Party With A Purpose

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, September 23, 2016
Absecon Methodist Church
100 Pitney Road, Absecon, NJ 08201

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Price includes buffet dinner, beverages and dessert.



Victims of human trafficking are found with nothing. Your support helps us provide many things, from a pair of shoes to our ability to reunite victims with their families. Our current needs far outstrip our resources. Your gift today, no matter the amount, will help combat this growing plague in our community.

Our Mission

Human trafficking has become one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world and in our community. Our mission is to develop a coordinated community response to combat the perpetrators of human trafficking – a form of modern day slavery. Help us put an end to human trafficking in southern New Jersey.

Spread the Word!
The HEAAT Foundation (Helping to Educate and Advocate Against Trafficking) is a non-profit organization committed to supporting and advocating for victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, and domestic servitude. More specifically, HEAAT strives to build a coordinated community response to combat the perpetrators of this form of modern-day slavery. We seek to prevent all forms of human trafficking by raising awareness, educating, and empowering the community to take a proactive stance against this crime.

HEAAT is committed to advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels of government to help enact legislation that will combat the perpetrators of trafficking, and also to provide for the needs of survivors, including material and financial needs, as well as emotional and social support. Join the fight by getting involved, making a donation, or spreading the word about human trafficking in our community.

  • Trafficking primarily involves exploitation, which comes in many forms, including forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
  • According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  • According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
  • The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14 years old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
  • Human trafficking is the second-largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year.
  • In 2013, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 7 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.
The fight against human trafficking is never-ending, and if we are to win, we can’t do battle alone. We need your help. No contribution is too small, whether giving of your time, talent, or financial resources. Whether you help us spread the word about human trafficking, bring an awareness event to your neighborhood, report suspicious activity in your community, or make a charitable contribution, you can support this effort. Here are some other ways you can help eliminate human trafficking in southern New Jersey:

  • Volunteer
  • Educate Yourself
  • Host a Training Session
  • Provide Corporate Support
  • Make a Donation

To get involved, contact us at 609.277.3050 or

On any given night on the streets of Atlantic City, there are at least 15 to 20 pimps and at least 10 to 20 child victims of human trafficking – and the number is growing. Help us put an end to human trafficking on Southern New Jersey by sharing our message across your social networks.


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Walk for Freedom

Join us for our annual Anti-Human Trafficking Walk for Freedom on Saturday, May 21, at Kennedy Plaza in Atlantic City. Registration opens at 9:30, followed by a Walk for Freedom at 10 a.m., and culminating with a rally at 11:30 a.m. The $20 registration fee supports the tireless work of The HEAAT Foundation.



Walk for Freedom
Joni Whelan
Joni WhelanPresident
Joni Whelan, a founding board member of HEAAT, is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor, as well as a certified clinical supervisor. Joni began the first program in the State of New Jersey for children of substance abusers. She has been awarded the NJ Child Abuse Prevention Award, as well as the NJ Skippy Award for child abuse prevention. She is also a recipient of Rowan University’s Addiction Pioneer Award.
Lisa Stevens
Lisa StevensVice President
Lisa Stevens, a co-founder of HEAAT, retired from state services after 25 years as a Social Worker for the N.J. Division of Youth and Family Services. She helped to create ATTAC (Anti-Trafficking Task force of Atlantic County), organized an anti-trafficking group in Burlington County, and works with ICE/FBI/Homeland Security to protect victims rights. She is a co-founder of the New Jersey Organizing Project for Sandy Survivors.
Kathy CasselberryTreasurer
Biography to come. Please check back.
Robert Barney
Robert BarneySecretary
Robert Barney is an assistant professor of social work at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He is a faculty advisor to Stockton Against Modern Slavery, a student organization dedicated to the fight against human trafficking. Robert is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Day of Service Community Engagement Award for his volunteer work in the local community. He holds a PhD in social work.
Kenny SmithYouth Representative
Kenny Smith is high school freshman and maintains honor roll status in his engineering program. He is active in crew, as well as the key club in his high school program. Kenny has been an active volunteer and advocate at the school level for the HEAAT Foundation since its formation in 2010. He has volunteered countless hours in all aspects of HEAAT and has attended high school trainings and advocates for victims in schools as well. Kenny plans to continue on to college and maintain his advocacy in the human trafficking field as well.

Our Partners