Human trafficking does not impact me. At least that’s what I thought years ago as a fairly naïve college student. Fast forward a decade later: my wife, Leah, gave birth to our daughter, Brielle, and everything changed. I saw my daughter’s face in every child. The issue of human trafficking started to sink deep into my heart: that could be my child. But what could we do? The issue is so big and so monstrous, what could one family do?
We started to give. Just a little bit. Then we started to read and research. We started to give a little more. We watched the Love146 videos. We cried a lot. We started praying for children that were mentioned in the Love146 blog, children we had never seen and would never meet. Then I started to have the desire to let others know about child trafficking and exploitation. But what could I do to spread awareness about human trafficking? I decided to use my skills as a personal trainer and my enjoyment of obstacle course racing.
I invited everyone I knew to come out to a four part group exercise series that lead up to a super fun obstacle course race. The goal was simple: get a great workout and learn about the issue of child trafficking.
We had a local café provide samples, parents brought their kids, and one week we actually went out to the course to practice the obstacles. At each event, we worked out, had a brief discussion or presentation on human trafficking, and I challenged everyone to a small task. The tasks were simple: look over the Love146 website, watch a video about trafficking, sign up for a “human trafficking” Google alert, read the U.S. State Department’s suggestions for what individuals can do to fight human trafficking, and give. Believe it or not, we even helped a bill that protects foster kids who are vulnerable to being trafficked pass into law by writing letters to our Representatives and Senators.
This little group of sweaty people actually helped create change. We did something.
Even though trying to help was too daunting of a task at first, I realize now that it starts with just doing something, like giving a few dollars or inviting friends out for a great workout. I hate that we live in a world where things like child trafficking exists. But I love that we live in a world where there is still hope, there’s still love and there’s still small groups of people willing to break a sweat for change.