It was only fitting to meet with the woman who devotes her time and efforts to help those in need at First Christian Church in Phoenix for a community event regarding the awareness of substance abuse.
As a dedicated wife, mother of seven and grandmother, Kathleen Winn said that these community meetings are just a small part of what she tries to do as a whole to become more involved in the community and help as many people as she can.
Winn graduated from the University of Arizona in 1980 and immediately started as a television news reporter, and transitioned to real estate shortly after. But, according to Winn there was flip that was switched in 2010 while she was working for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as the community outreach and education director.
Winn was introduced to information regarding human trafficking and sex trafficking which she immediately became an advocate for. She wanted to learn more information about the issue and wanted to help.
“I feel called to do this work,” said Winn. “I try to do something to people and take the calls from people that need help.”
According to Chris Bray, a retired investigations supervisor from the Phoenix Police Department, Winn is very involved with trying to provide awareness out about the anti-trafficking movement and motivated to make a change.
“Kathleen actually starts doing things instead of talking about doing them unlike a lot of political people I’ve worked with over the years,” said Bray with an admiring chuckle.
Since that turning point Winn co-founded the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network and created Project 25, an organization working to end sexual exploitation by 2025. She explained through teary eyes that she continues her work for her children and grandchildren.
“I look at my grandchildren and I look at how innocent, joyful, happy and self-expressed they are,” said Winn. “I continue to work hard for them or I would feel like I didn’t give it my all.”
Shanna Parker, a survivor leader and the CEO of Angels Go To Work, an organization whose mission is to help victims of human trafficking and sex trafficking, said that talking about Winn is one of the things that can make her smile because she extends help to anyone who needs it.
“Her heart is wide open,” said Parker. “She would do anything for anyone, including, literally taking the shirt off of her back.”
Bray mentioned heavily that he does not provide interviews lightly about just anyone but would talk about Winn.
“She goes out of her way for people more than anyone I know,” said Bray. “She is honestly trying to make things better and that’s rare.”
According to Winn, she is doing the work she feels called to do and wants to prevent as much abuse as she can.
“Each story motivates me to be a voice for this especially when we couldn’t talk about it 18, 19 years ago,” said Winn. “I’m not like Xena the warrior princess or Wonder Woman, I’m just doing my part.”
When asked if Winn had any faults or if she could be criticized in any way both Parker and Bray could not express any negative feedback. Parker took a significantly long pause before expressing that Winn’s biggest fault was not taking time for herself.
“I wish Kathleen would get more self-care,” said Parker. “She spends so much time taking care of other people and putting other people first.”