the Canvas Story

Matt Norman —  May 3, 2012

In America we are very sheltered. We think that slavery was something that ended with a speech given by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. In our little world this is true. However, in for the rest of the world this is still very real.

While at the Orange Conference 2012 I met a Heather Marshall,  who is doing her part to help stamp out human trafficking, what we would call slavery. Heather is the Executive Director and founder of an organization called The Canvas Story. Here is their mission statement statement and vision in their own words.
Mission: Cultivating creative ways to combat human trafficking. Through our collective abilities,  passions and opportunities, we will research and execute strategies to bring freedom to victims of severe abuse/slavery.
Vision: To See individuals find healing and restoration from abuse, and to then help them pass that gift to someone else. To lower the demand for trafficking through raising awareness of the problem and cultivating solutions.
One of the ways that they are working towards this vision is with the Canvas Story 90-day challenge. Here’s how the 90 day challange works. You agree for 90 days to replace an item that you might normally by with one that is guaranteed slavery free.
Ok, so how do I know which products these are? Well, look for products that have the logo below on them.


I have to admit that prior to talking to these two very passionate women I had never even heard of this fair-trade thing. I seem to remember seeing this logo on some products, but I can’t say that I payed any more attention to it than that.
One thing that I failed to mention is that many if not most of the people that are being taken into human trafficking are children. As a parent and children’s pastor this breaks my heart. The thought of my own children or the children in my ministry being taken into slavery is almost more than I can think of.
So, what do we do about this. Well, I want to challenge you to take the Canvas Story 90 day Challenge. The products that they had listed that you could commit to included chocolate and coffee. There others out there too. So, look for a product with the above label on it and commit to not buying any of that type of product except ones with the Fair-Trade label. I committed to only buying fair-trade coffee for 90 days.
For complete details click HERE.

Matt Norman

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Matt is married to his high school sweetheart Kim and together they have two wonderful kids. Matt is a part time children’s pastor at The Rock of Winter Haven, in the appropriately named town of Winter Haven, Florida. In his spare time Matt is an avid automotive enthusiast and a self confessed computer nerd and tech junkie.