Watch Laura Hagen's remarks:
More about Why Laura Was Given This Award:
We’ve been giving this award away for the past six years. To recipients that have spanned anywhere from a beauty entrepreneur, to app developers, to business people, to a pastor. All kinds of people, all kinds of different vocations and education, and experience. But the one thing that they all have had in common, that they are Love146 supporters who, from their unique vocation or passions, take inspiring action to further our mission.
Laura Hagen is in her seventh year of Tread on Trafficking with Love146. In those seven years, she’s raised over a hundred thousand dollars and has run countless miles and have brought a ton of other people into the Love146 family in order to yeah, to increase the work that we’re doing in ending child trafficking and exploitation. This year Laura is captain of team Love Wins a team of 14 people who have pledged to raise $25,000 as a team. Before the pandemic, Laura ran a daycare, for 15 years, and she credits her passion for the well-being of children as motivation to keep treading and raising awareness and funds for Love146. Laura has said that running for the children in our care brings her joy, and her favorite part of Tread on Trafficking so far has been running through a field of mustard flowers, which she described as “heaven on earth.”
Laura is one of those people who represents the best of us, in that she has been passionate about this issue. She has been passionate about creating a safer world for children for year after year after year, and does it through her action. We so appreciate Laura and the work that she does to create a safer world for children. So congratulations Laura for winning our Love In Action Award for 2021!
Here are a few words from Laura reflecting on this award:
There is nothing that matters more than people helping people. And, here’s the beauty of it: We all can…and we all should.
I once knew a little girl who lost her mom at the age of 7. Her dad spent most of his life (and hers) in prison and later died there. Moving from home to home, school to school throughout most of her childhood left her feeling insecure. She often felt that there was nowhere that she belonged. She endured all forms of abuse – physical, emotional, and sexual. Being just a child during this time made her feel helpless and without a voice. It was love that carried her though; love from friends, family, and at times, complete strangers. They saw the need and they stepped up to pour all of their love over this one girl. Today, she is strong; full of hope and gratitude. And, she has found her voice.
This is my story. If not for the events that took place in my life, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Someone who cares so deeply for children who are hurting, lost, and feel alone. No child should ever feel these things. It’s not okay.
I’d really like to help them all, but I realize that I can’t do it alone. That’s where all of you come in.
To those who have joined me in Tread on Trafficking – to everyone who has run, biked, swam and so on…Thank you! What a bunch of formidable misfits we all are. All of us from different backgrounds, and each with a story to tell, but we all shared the same heart. Combined, we created a mighty army.
Those who have donated to Love146 and who have supported this effort again and again. Your gifts have sweetly changed the course in the lives of many children. A million “thank-you’s” still would never be enough to convey my gratitude. Thank you for loving me so well, and for loving what I love.
Those working at Love146. The ones who have dedicated their lives to helping children. They are in the thick of it; doing the really hard stuff. I can’t imagine it being easy for any of them with all that they see and hear, but they are fierce and unstoppable. Thank you, Love146, for all that you do.
What an honor and great privilege it is for me to stand alongside each and every one of you.
The vision of Love146 is this: the end of child trafficking and exploitation. Nothing less. It is my lifelong vision as well.
When all is said and done, Love wins. Love always wins.