I began running seriously almost a year and a half ago.
As I progressed to running longer distances, I prayed about whether or not God wanted me to run a marathon. I didn’t really have a desire to run one; having done 3 half marathons, 13.1 miles felt quite far enough. But as I prayed, the thought came to mind: what about running for a cause?
There is no cause that I am more passionate about than children caught in the unthinkable trap of sex slavery.
It is believed that there are currently 21 million people worldwide caught in slavery (forced labor).
Over half of these people are in the Asia-Pacific region.
Approximately 50% of trafficking victims are children. Most are caught in sex slavery.
There are more slaves today than ever before in human history.
On October 13th, I will run the ING Hartford Marathon in an effort to trample on child sex slavery.
Through this marathon, I will trample on trafficking in the Philippines by raising $2,620 for the Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch in Cebu.
Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch, founded in 1995 by Glenn & Nancy Garrison, is dedicated to helping abandoned and trafficked children of the Philippines.
I’ve met the Garrisons several times when they’ve come to the US to share about the Ranch. They have an amazing heart for these kids and their work in Cebu.
As many as 100,000 girls and boys are trafficked within the Philippines each year. Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch works in conjunction with other organizations and local authorities to rescue children from slavery and bring them to the Ranch.
From the Happy Horizons website:
Beginning at our safe house, the girls are taken in, given initial counseling and orientation. During the first weeks, they often feel disoriented, scared and even angry, feeling they have not so much been “rescued” as “kidnapped”. We have a short window of opportunity to get them to understand that they are victims of an enormous injustice.
Once we gain the girls trust and confidence, we seek to bring them to an awareness of how special they are to our Heavenly Father. He hasn’t forgotten them, and they can have a future which includes education, a new family of Christian believers, and a new home. We bring them to the Ranch, to our second phase facility, where they can now begin schooling, make new friends and find the family they desperately need.
It costs $150/month to provide food, clothes, shelter, education, medical care, counseling and legal advocacy for each child.
In addition to caring for those caught in trafficking, another important way to trample on trafficking is prevention. Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch has several ways they assist in prevention.
Their new A.I.D. program, Alumni In Defense, has their reintegrated girls, alumnae from the Ranch, working in the community to help identify early at-risk girls, in order to save them from human trafficking.
Another way they assist in prevention is by providing college and vocation school scholarships to the graduates of their program. These children need new skills that will provide for their new lives. The cost for the tuition is $500-$1500/year.
It is for this cause that I will be running (or walking, if I need to) 26.2 miles on October 13th. Yes, I feel a bit insane, but as Glenn and Nancy always sign their emails, it’s “For The Kids.”
Will you join me? Will you trample on child sex trafficking with me by giving to this great cause? Together, we can work to trample on trafficking – one step at a time.
For the Kids,
Brenna Kate Simonds
To find out how to participate: