WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — While the holidays are traditionally a time for celebration and enjoying the company of family and friends, its also when officials tend to see an uptick in human trafficking.

Lynn Barletta, the founder of Catch The Wave of Hope explained how they are painting a mural in Stuart to raise funds for victims.

Victims could be anyone, your son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, neighbor.

Florida ranks 3rd in the country for number of human trafficking cases.

Barletta said this realization compelled a group of community leaders from Martin and Palm Beach counties to create Catch the Wave of Hope to abolish human trafficking. In 2016, leaders began to meet and strategize while connecting with other like-minded organizations.

A movement has begun that is growing quickly and becoming a powerful union with a heart to end the horror of modern day slavery of children and adults. “We work with local law enforcement, civic groups, churches, synagogues and businesses to help people rise up and protect their communities. We support legislation to end human trafficking. We educate through awareness presentations to mobilize communities. We offer healing programs for victims.”
— Lynne Barletta