To me, running is liberating. It allows me a little alone time to pray, to recharge from the busyness of life, to gather my thoughts, to work on who I am and who I want to be. It has given me the joy of seeing beautiful sights, like a sunset over the Mississippi in New Orleans, the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean in Manhattan Beach, the crowds of supporters through Georgetown during the Marine Corps Marathon, and the clear night sky in Virginia that brings to life every constellation. I would never have these experiences without running. It has given me so much and I want to be able to give something back.
Freedom 4/24 is a nonprofit organization that exists to bring freedom and justice to victims of human trafficking, particularly the sexual exploitation of women and children. What I have learned over the past few years scares and repulses me. UNICEF reported that at any time there are more that 2 million children being trafficked in the global sex trade. The U.S, State Department reports that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders, 80% being female and 50% being children. And it is not just in third world nations. In this $32 billion dollar industry, $15.5 billion dollars comes from industrialized nations, including America.
I have come to realize that the freedom that I enjoy running, many of these young girls may never know. As I get to escape from my beautiful day-to-day, they are trapped in small, dirty rooms, dreading the near future when their door is opened. While I can think of how to better myself, they have lost their identity and hope for the future. I am able to travel and see the beautiful landscapes of our world, while they remained imprisoned.
Freedom 4/24 exists to combat this evil. I want to join in that fight. I want to bring freedom to these girls through my running.
I have two goals for this upcoming race in Boston:
1) to run a sub 3 hour marathon
2) to raise $5,000 for Freedom 4/24 to help continue their fight for these women and children.
To achieve these two goals, I need the support of many. The encouragement of others will help push me through the tiring days when I don’t feel like running. It will get me out of bed to face the cold January and February Virginia mornings to get the necessary mileage in before work. It will give me the strength to dig deeper when my legs don’t want to move any faster. And most importantly, it will bring freedom to a little girl trapped in a terrible nightmare.
By supporting this endeavor, you are choosing to support those without a voice. The Lord has heard their prayers and has people at work today, bring freedom and seeking justice. I have joined that fight. Please consider partnering with us by donating at the link below.
Please note that every dollar raised goes directly to Freedom 4/24 and the work that they do. No funds will be used to cover the cost of race registration or travel expenses.