Supporter Spotlights celebrate what brought Love146 supporters to be a part of the movement to end child trafficking, and share how they are choosing to take action. Every person is unique and we invite you to join them if you’re inspired, or find your own authentic expression.
While home raising my 2 young girls, I began reading a book about a survivor’s story of trafficking. This sparked a curiosity in me leading to days and nights of research and absorbing all the information I could find on the topic. I came across the Love146 Love story and was broken. The girls in the red dresses were my daughter’s age. They deserve a childhood and to be loved!
As long as I can remember, I have always had a heart for children and more specifically those who are vulnerable. Ultimately this is what led me to the movement. This story resonated so deeply with me that I couldn’t sit back and just read about this anymore. My pastor calls this a “holy discontent.” It was time to DO something. I remember crying tears of anger and frustration at how trafficking could be a reality.
I questioned how I—a stay at home mom—could make a difference.
Quickly I was surprised to see how easy it is! Shortly after, I decided to run and fundraise through the Tread on Trafficking Campaign. Running was something I already do, so why not do it for a bigger cause? Why not raise awareness at the same time?
I started to run weekly during rush hour traffic wearing a red dress with a Love146 sign pinned to my back.
The next thing I knew, a friend decided to join me. Then another. Then another! I reached out to my family and together, we began The Red Run 5K, a local run and walk aimed to raise awareness and resources to fight child trafficking and exploitation. Participants wear red or red dresses in honor of the girl who wore the number 146.
By starting the Red Run, we not only raised funds and awareness, but we provided an opportunity for others to get involved in an easy way. We were fulfilling a need in our community: the hunger to fight against trafficking was huge, and people were just waiting for a way to get involved in an easy, safe, yet tangible way. Our hope was this event would be a catalyst for others to join the fight against trafficking— that it would lead people to realize that each of us has something to offer.
While the Red Run was starting to come together, I began volunteering at a local residential treatment center for exploited minors. Knowing the names and the faces of these girls made it deeply personal. More importantly, this greatly increased my awareness and understanding of the complexities and depth of this subject.
The biggest lesson I have learned from being a part of the anti-trafficking movement is that an injustice so big and awful can be defeated by people taking one small action at a time.
Get educated and start where you are! I honestly believe that every single person has a role in fighting trafficking no matter your job or season of life. Small changes in the way we talk (words like pimp), shop (fair trade), understand other’s actions (everyone has a battle), relate to those from different backgrounds (seek to understand), respond to media (does it perpetuate exploitation?), and serve the marginalized (am I helping or hurting?) can make a big difference in the fight against trafficking. If a stay at home mom running in a red dress can make a difference, so can you!