In 2018, the Northeast Arkansas community was shocked to see three human trafficking cases in their area make the news headlines. Megan Brown, Miranda Ballard, Audra King, and Mary Sellers shared a mutual passion to end this atrocity and help those affected by this horrible crime. As a result, they formed Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas in April 2019 to educate the community and coordinate services for victims and survivors of human trafficking. The Hope Found founding board members were: Megan Brown, Audra King, Mary Sellers, Miranda Ballard, Suzi Lander, Sonya Sanders, Leha Pemberton, Elizabeth Hooven, Hunter West, Lexanne Horton, Jen Vincent, Angela Jefferson, Melanie Mata, Shereka Ray, Vicki Martin, and Wanda Collins. The Hope Found founding advisory board members were: Dr. Jackie Conger, Patty Cornwell, Lea Ann Stidham, Sherrie Mitchell, and Sherry Pierce.
Mission and Values
Our mission is to end human trafficking by creating awareness, educating communities, and coordinating services for victims and survivors. Our values are kindness, team-oriented, integrity, mindfulness, mission-focused, and humility.
Megan Brown currently serves as the executive director of Hope Found. She is a Jonesboro native who graduated from Arkansas State University and is a Licensed Social Worker. In 2009 while living in Nashville, she first learned about human traffickingand then began working for Free for Life International and interned with End Slavery TN. She returned to Jonesboro in 2011 and served as the NEA Area Representative for PATH (Partners Against Trafficking Humans) until 2015. Megan is married to Ralo Brown and they have 3 children, Jude, Ruby Rae, and Raleigh Mae.
Miranda Ballard is married to Tanner Ballard and lives in Jonesboro as a Mortgage Banker at Encore Bank. They have one daughter, Jenna. She hopes Hope Found can continue to grow into a bigger footprint to help educate more communities on human trafficking.
Audra King and her husband, Brandon, have been married for 15 years and have two beautiful girls, Collins & Charlie. They own a local bakery and coffee shop in Jonesboro called Southern Confections and IV Kings. As an organization, she hopes Hope Found’s notoriety within the community continues to increase as a reliable organization regarding information about human trafficking and that they continue to connect with other organizations to help us better serve future victims.
Mary Sellers is married to Chris Sellers and has five amazing daughters and five grandbabies. She is a School Based Case Manager with Arisa Health at Jonesboro Kindergarten Center. She wants to see Hope Found expand into surrounding communities and increase awareness and education in these areas.
Since its beginning, Hope Found has educated thousands of students, parents, educators, social services, and healthcare providers to recognize and prevent human trafficking in their sphere of influence. They also have provided services and resources to over 100 individuals affected by human trafficking. Hope Found continues establishing partnerships throughout the Northeast Arkansas community and providing education and resources for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Hope Found provided services and resources to 5 individuals affected by human trafficking. In addition, they provided over 60 Human Trafficking 101 presentations educating citizens throughout the NEA community. Hope Found was asked to join the Department of Homeland Security’s NEA Human Trafficking Task Force to provide services and resources to victims recovered by law enforcement. They participated in their first sting operation, Operation S.U.I.T., in January 2020, which recovered six victims and arrested 13 suspects.
Hope Found provided services and resources to 20 individuals affected by human trafficking. In addition, they provided 50 Human Trafficking 101 presentations educating citizens throughout the NEA community. They launched two inaugural fundraisers, DateNight with a Purpose, in October and Ride Against Trafficking in June. Together, those fundraisers brought in over $30,000 for the program.
Hope Found provided services and resources to 40 individuals affected by human trafficking and facilitated the iEmpathize Empower Youth Curriculum for 79 youth. In addition, they educated over 2,000 community members with their human trafficking presentations, spoke on 2 podcasts, and had 17 media interviews. Their two annual fundraisers, Date Night with a Purpose in October and Ride Against Trafficking in June, brought in over $49,000. Hope Found was also awarded the Crimestoppers of Jonesboro Agency of the Year award.
Hope Found is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization with a current seven-member board of directors, a four-member advisory, and a three-member founder’s circle. Members work together to develop Hope Found’s ongoing strategy for offering educational services in the community and increasing the resources it can provide victims and survivors. The goal is to establish a fully funded and operational survivor restoration campus to serve those abused in the human trafficking industry.