State senator honors O.L.I.V.E. group
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
California Senator Anna Caballero honors Madera Police Lieutenant Daniel Foss, founder of O.L.I.V.E., as a recipient of the Nonprofit of the Year.
Senator Anna M. Caballero (D-Salinas) announced a Senate Resolution to honor O.L.I.V.E. (Overcoming Limitations through Intervention, Value and Empowerment) as her selection for Nonprofit of the Year 2021.
Lieutenant Daniel Foss of the Madera Police Department founded O.L.I.V.E. in 2015. After identifying gaps in services and resources for survivors of human sex trafficking, Lt. Foss reached out to students attending Fresno State University for assistance. It was then that the O.L.I.V.E. Organization was born.
“When Dan looked to solve the problem, he realized you can’t just put a band-aid on it or hand them a check,” said Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno. “It takes a lot of investment. That’s when O.L.I.V.E. was born. It’s a small organization to help a smaller number of victims of human trafficking at a time. It helps them with the level of intensity that is required to shift mindsets, change lives and set things on the right path. If you have been helped by OLIVE, you can always come back to get a little more. It’s a diversity of problems and its diversity of interventions is amazing. Madera is an amazing place to be and work. I’m not surprised to see a great organization grow up here.”
“When I started this, I was really flying blind,” Foss said. “There were so many opportunities for the doors to be shut for me. When I went to my boss, Dino Lawson, about a crazy idea. Most people say no. He said run with it. He got me involved and I started O.L.I.V.E. Early on, before I had a building, I went to the City Council. Everyone was so supportive. We continued to grow. Every time I asked for help, they told me whatever I need. I got our safehouse through Rotary. We continue to grow so big and so fast.”
“This puts Madera on the map,” said Madera Mayor Santos Garcia. “It shows we are doing great things in Madera at the state level. There’s positive, even during the time of COVID. We have good things going on in Madera.”
“OLIVE estimates that there are between 10,000 - 20,000 victims of sex trafficking in the Madera/Fresno County area alone. This represents to me a massive need for services, education and intervention,” said Senator Anna Caballero. “Because there is no single profile for a victim; identification and rescue can be a challenge. I believe that OLIVE is in a unique position to not only help survivors flee, but also to help victims to see that the community cares, that they are valuable members of the community and help them to learn the tools needed to rebuild their lives.”
O.L.I.V.E. has served over one hundred victims of human trafficking; equipping them with the necessary tools to lead successful lives. O.L.I.V.E. trains law enforcement, civilian support staff and citizens of Madera County and other counties, and provides education on the dangers and signs of human trafficking in our communities.
“Having an organization like O.L.I.V.E. strengthening our community and creating a lasting impact in the fight against human trafficking has been a great blessing for Madera,” said Madera City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez who nominated O.L.I.V.E. for the recognition. “This outstanding organization, founded by one of the City’s own, is doing vital work in our community and exemplifies the kind of remarkable accomplishments that can be achieved when agencies work together to serve a particularly vulnerable segment of our population. We are proud to have a nonprofit organization so deserving of recognition right here in our backyard, and delighted that Senator Caballero’s office has selected them as Nonprofit of the Year.”
“Together we are going to make a difference,” said Foss. “Through community support, O.L.I.V.E. has been able to directly influence and better so many lives. Many young women now have a chance for a full and complete life, and we are honored to be a small part of helping to achieve this.
“The community are the ones that are giving all the time to help provide for the ladies. This a community project. This is a Madera project.”