Amanda grew up in a military household. She met and got to know many people of many different cultural backgrounds while living on the military bases across the country, and has had plenty of chances to travel abroad. In fact, she was born in Germany. She's traveled to England, the Czech Republic, Germany, France and Ireland in recent years, and even lived in Scotland for a brief period of time. Cultural diversity has been the backbone of her existence since a very young age.
She was never a fan of her hair color as a kid. Her mother said she hated her hair color when she was 15 or 16 and decided to bleach it blonde, but it took multiple attempts, and for some time her hair fluxuated between neon orange and straw (the color AND the consistency). Her mother said it was a "mousy gray" color, but she was a natural strawberry blonde as a baby, and by High School other kids were teasing her for being a "ginger" among those with "normal" hair. Kids can be cruel. Even she was a practical joker and prankster as a kid, and still makes people laugh with her antics - though they're usually aimed at herself now instead of at her older brother.
She's done a wide variety of jobs, from being a server and bartender at Colombos in Eagle Rock California, to flying the friendly skies as a Flight Attendant, and finally working full time helping to staff large concert venues in Colorado. Her love of adventure defines her.
At the age of 19, Amanda's life took a drastic turn down a very dark path. She married a much older man in an attempt to escape her already dramatic life and was looking for a way out of trouble when the word "trouble" was completely redefined for her. Locked away in a small room with no food, no water, no bathroom, and no company other that the screams of other trapped girls down the dark, deadly hallway, she had ample time to rethink her life.
When she escaped, she didn't go back for the other girls whose screams haunt her dreams even now. For many years she wondered where they were and even if they survived their captivity. She never was able to find out any information on them or her captor, but she's finally found a way to fight back.
The goal of the organization she's founded is to show the redhead kids who have been victims of bullying that they have live support, but also to save approximately 100 human trafficking victims for each of the 6 victims that were left behind when she escaped. Some people have told Amanda that it’s an impossible task, but once completed, she plans to achieve many more such ‘impossible’ goals with future Redheads Unite! events in additional states in the years to come.
Amanda promises she'll never stop until she finds the girls she left behind.
There's a good chance that means she'll never stop.
You can find a lot more information about Amanda and the event by following our social media links above, but if you're curious about the kidnap story, Amanda's no stranger to telling it like it is. You can find a copy of her book, titled "Detailed Pieces of a Shattered Dream" on Amazon, and ALL of the proceeds go to the event and to helping rescue children from human trafficking.
Scroll just a little further down to find the link.
Detailed Pieces of a Shattered Dream
If you have a book store or know one who would like to carry this groundbreaking book on their shelves, contact us today! Remember, every penny of sales goes to help fight human trafficking!
I've been a member of various Redhead groups on social media for years now. Every year people would comment on how other parts of the world would have Redhead Days and redhead conventions. Over and over people would ask why we didn't have something like that in the United States. I was right there with them. Why WASN'T there an established group doing redhead events in the United States? There were small, local groups here and there scattered around the country, but that was it. I knew there weren't any in Colorado and I found myself wishing that were different. Finally, I stopped asking why anyone wasn't doing it and I started to ask who would do it. Then I realized that I was that 'who' and the idea was born.
The idea was originally to post an event on Facebook where I'd invite local redheads to have a bbq in a park somewhere. If it were just going to be a small BBQ or picnic, it wouldn't require permits and venue payments and insurance. If I kept it small, that would keep it easy.
In less than a month I had over 2,000 people interested in attending the event. They were planning family reunions and vacations around the random date I had picked in July, the first weekend that was just about exactly a year from the date I came up with the initial idea. I knew then that I had started something that was taking on a life of its own. I knew that I had a moral obligation to turn it into something that would benefit humanity. I decided to tie it into my own passion of fighting human trafficking.
I knew I had the opportunity to do something big to help humanity. I also knew that I was no hero, nor would I ever be a hero. I proved that to myself when I saved my own skin all those years ago and left behind several other caged victims. However, I knew more about the problem than many and I knew I had the opportunity to teach others how to be heroes. Just like the redhead gathering, I was tired of waiting for someone else to do it.
Imagine my surprise when the 303 magazine called me wanting to do an interview.
I needed a way to connect with locals and to spread the word about the event. I wanted to meet the people who would be coming out, find out who they were and why they wanted to come participate. I needed to find volunteers to help with the event (and still do). But right away I found something I didn't realize I desperately needed in my life. At one of our very first photo shoots for The Book Project, I met the woman who would very quickly become very important to me, the woman who has been my right hand woman since I met her. So much of what we've accomplished has been mostly thanks to her. She's done so much more than just encourage me to keep going through all of the personal struggles and trials I've faced in recent days.
Collette managed to find the venue we'll be using for the big event this year and made all the right phone calls to make that a reality. In that, she succeeded where I had failed only days before. She volunteered to be the Photography Liaison for The Book Project helping to organize the photographers. She contacted WPPI and convinced them to provide us with a booth at their massive Las Vegas convention where we successfully recruited over 100 additional photographers to help us with The Book Project. Collette was by my side while i told my personal story more than 300 times at that convention.
She fed me when I was hungry. She calmed me when I was worried. She listened when I was angry. She hugged me when I was crying. She's been my greatest cheerleader since the day I met her. Collette quickly became my best friend. I'd be lost without her.
(Pictured - Collette with our boot at WPPI)
Collette and I are branching out looking for networking opportunities, volunteers for the event. sponsors to back our efforts and other opportunities to get people involved in the fight against human trafficking and redhead bullying. She's the one who came up with the event essay contest for teens and the coloring contest for the little kids.
Together we're unstopable. We've already managed to end the bullying for several young kids who've been a part of The Book Project. There will be many more kids effected by the big event in July, and still more effected by The Book Project once it's published.
If you or someone you know would like to get involved, we still need volunteers, sponsors, donations and contest prizes. It doesn't take money to make a difference. It just takes wanting to try.
We'd love to have you. Reach out to us today.
Thanks for stopping by.