GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, North Carolina has the ninth-most human trafficking cases in the country.

NC Stop Human Trafficking, a statewide initiative located in Pitt County, is working to combat that issue.

“We have a college campus, and we are one of the biggest cities east of I-95 so we have a higher population. And in all sincerity we also have a substance use disorder problem, which sets us up to have higher numbers here,” said Melinda Sampson, the community outreach coordinator for NC Stop Human Trafficking.

After a three-year COVID pause, the organization hosted its first in-person fundraiser, a “Rockin’ for a Free World” concert Wednesday night at Uptown Brewing Company. The band 1789 brought the entertainment for the night, and Uptown Brewing Company donated part of their profit to the cause.

“That money will go to fund our educational programs and our collaboration programs,” Sampson said. “The survivor may need housing, they may need substance use disorder treatment, they may need legal services. There is a gamut of things they need, and when you do the collaborative model that we advocate for and help facilitate, that means survivor outcomes are better.”

The organization partnered with Law Dogs, a law enforcement motorcycle club out of the Triad area.

“Human trafficking is obviously an issue, and we wanted to do our part to help these organizations that are working to combat it,” said Steve Davis, a road captain with the Law Dogs.

Sampson said they’re trying to combat human trafficking by educating the community.

“At the end of the day our goal is to highlight the reality of human trafficking so people know exactly what we are talking about around sex trafficking and labor trafficking,” she said.

For more information to donate, volunteer or show support for human trafficking in Eastern North Carolina and across the state, visit NC Stop Human Trafficking’s website.