What were you doing when you were 12 years old? Some would say playing sports with their childhood friends. Others would tell you stories of being the best class clown to ever grace their town. But did you know, children are sold into slavery for the sole purpose of sex trafficking? While some have dismissed human trafficking as only being prostitutes who choose that life, it’s hard to justify that dismissal when 1.2 million children per year are sold, unwillingly into the sex industry, according to the Global Initiate to Fight Human Trafficking. There, they will be trafficked like goods to be sold in stores. They will bring in nearly $32 billion a year to their owners, in more than 160 countries all over the world, according to the Global Initiate.
Let me be very clear though, this is not only a third-world country issue as many have let themselves believe. This is a U.S. issue. There are an estimated 300,000 underage girls in the U.S. who are vulnerable to human trafficking, according to a 2009 University of Pennsylvania study.
Last but not least in this stunning list of terrible, but true facts, is that Toledo, Ohio, has one of the highest rate per capita of human trafficking.
Here’s the good news. There is a chance to rise up and make a change. Covenant Church in Grove City has partnered with Freedom 4/24, an organization committed to raising awareness about human trafficking, raising money to help victims, and mobilizing others to do the same.
Covenant is a non-denominational Christian church that holds services every Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Rave Movie Theatre in Grove City. Lead Pastor Travis Davenport shared the news Covenant and Freedom 4/24 would be hosting a 5K Oct. 12, which will begin at the Grove City Rave at 9 a.m. When sharing the exciting news, he explained this is not a “Christian” thing, or a “church” thing. This is a human thing and it’s time join together as humans and fight for the lives of these victims. The cost to participate is $24, and this amount was chosen to represent the cost to “rent” a child. Each runner will receive the name of a victim and will write it on their arm to remind them just who they saved with their donation. It’s time to run for their lives. These are someone’s daughters, sisters, cousins and granddaughters. Would you run if they were yours?
Registration will be available on site the day of the event. However, if you want to sign up ahead of time, go to R4TLcolumbus.com, and join the fight. For information about sponsoring or volunteering for this event please email [email protected] How many times in life does someone hand us the opportunity to donate just a few hours to save a human being? It’s time for Buckeye Nation to run for our fellow Ohioans, fellow Americans and fellow human’s lives. Let’s show them how Buckeyes change the world.
fourth-year in social work