Run 4 Their Lives is a Freedom 4/24 event that raises awareness and funds to bring sexually exploited women and children into freedom.
Freedom 4/24 is partnering with a local organization, Straight Street, for this event: Straight Street is located in Roanoke, Virginia. Its mission is to provide a positive Christian environment where at-risk youth can obtain the necessary skills and training needed to mature and discover God’s plan for their lives. Services include youth ministry, teen MOPS, and crisis support. Straight Street’s newest initiative is Street Ransom, which enables the organization to work directly with trafficking victims by providing a shelter for those who have been rescued. Currently, it provide non-shelter support service for both juvenile and adult victims. This includes access to counseling, transportation for services and clothing/personal care items. Learn more at http://straightstreet.org.
Advocate and run for FREE
Become a fundraiser! Share information about human trafficking with your friends and family and ask them to support your efforts to run for freedom and fight injustice! Click the Fundraiser tab to set up a personalized R4TL fundraising web page that you can easily email or post on social media – raise $50 and you run free!
Refer 1 or more participants and get a refund of up to $20.00. Share your referral code with family and friends and for each of the first FOUR people who register using your referral code, you will receive a $2 refund. For the FIFTH registrant using your code, you are refunded up to $20! So share your referral code and encourage people to come out and run!
RACE LOCATION: TBD
EVENT TIME: The Kid’s Fun Run will begin at 8:30am and the 4 mile walk/run will begin at 9:00am. **Please arrive by 8:00 am at the latest on race day.
PACKET PICK UP: TBD
COST: If you choose not to fundraise, the race registration fee is $24 through September 23; $30 after September 24 until race day. Online registration closes on October 6 at 11:59pm.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Share your experience through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help spread awareness of human trafficking! Make sure to use #R4TLcharlottesville.
During the R4TL Charlottesville 2016 run, Anita, a human trafficking survivor from India and Destiny from Knoxville, TN will be highlighted and their names will be written on each participant’s arm as a significant act of advocacy and awareness to run for their freedom and the many others with similar stories! If you want to have an even greater impact, begin sharing these stories now through the Raise Your Arm campaign. Read Anita and Destiny’s story and then select one of the following tiers within the Raise Your Arm campaign to help share on of those stories and fight for freedom!
Anita’s Story: Anita was just 11 years old when she was robbed of her innocence. To make ends meet, her mother began selling Anita to a local man for 3,000 rupees, the equivalent of about $45. The man who bought her was very rough with her, scarring her both emotionally and physically. “After it was over, I laid on the bed. I felt I couldn’t get up. I was bleeding badly,” Anita explained. “I was so sad, crying, I could not believe that my mom would do this to me.”
Soon after, a female street vendor befriended Anita only to deceive her. She tricked Anita into coming to Mumbai with her. Anita believed that if she went to Mumbai, she would be able to find work to support herself and her brothers so they could have a better life. Shortly after they arrived in Mumbai, Anita quickly realized that she had been brought there to be sold to a brothel. “They would drug me,” Anita recalled. “I couldn’t even remember how many people were using me at the brothel. I would be servicing customers until 4 in the morning.” The horrors in the brothel only grew worse with time. One night, an angry customer poured hot oil on Anita’s face. She was just 14 years old at the time and 9 months pregnant. That same night, in part as a result of her trauma, she went into labor and delivered her daughter.
A few years later, when she was 17, Anita was rescued by Freedom Firm. Through Freedom Firm, Anita learned that she could make a living outside of brothels by working for Ruhamah Designs, a micro-enterprise jewelry business that employs trafficking survivors started by Freedom Firm. Through the love and care of Freedom Firm workers, Anita learned about Jesus Christ and the life-changing power of the Gospel. “My God is so good. He has saved me and taken care of me and my child. He has brought me to this beautiful place, and I am so thankful for that,” she said. Now, Anita beams when she speaks of her work at Ruhamah and her daughter. She is living a full life—one of purpose. “So many girls out there are like me,” she said. “Just like you have helped me, just like you have changed my life, I hope that they can be rescued too like I was.”
Destiny’s Story: As a young girl, Destiny did not have an easy life. Her mother, the only parent Destiny had, brought many men into their home, and some of them sexually abused Destiny. She grew up thinking that this was normal. When Destiny finally had the courage to speak up to her mother about being molested, her mother told her that it was okay and normal, and did nothing to stop it. At the age of 13, Destiny was still living this broken life. She often traveled out of state, to many different cities. She soon began having sex (sometimes unprotected) and using drugs. She had started to feel as though no one cared about her. Her confidence was extremely low, and she felt all alone. Not too long after she began having those feelings, Destiny became involved in prostitution, which exposed her to many sad and shocking experiences. “I have witnessed people getting beaten, being raped, and I’ve had guns pulled out on me, thrown out of cars, you name it.”
When Destiny tried to escape this lifestyle, she experienced threats and abuse. She did not have a home to return to or anyone that she could trust. Her situation worsened and she eventually got into trouble with the law. At that point, Destiny realized that she needed to get away, but she could not easily do so because her abusers would not allow it. Through the help of an FBI agent, Destiny was able to get in contact with one of Freedom 4/24’s domesti partners, Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, where she is now receiving assistance and is a step closer to achieving goals that she did not know were even possible.
Someday, Destiny would like to be a chef and even hopes to be featured on Iron Chef and Top Chef. She also wants to use her past experiences to talk to young girls in hopes of preventing the cycle of human trafficking. She wants to open up a place of refuge to let girls know that they are not alone.
TIER 1: For 30 days leading up to your Run 4 Their Lives event, select one of the highlighted survivors of human trafficking and write her name on your arm for each of those 30 days. For each of those 30 days, pray for that woman and others like her, for the end of human trafficking and slavery, and for continued progress in shining light on this darkness. Share your survivor’s story with your family and friends and encourage them to become involved. Share your journey on social media using the hashtags #raiseyourarmchallenge and #freedom424
TIER 2: Along with Tier 1, take the next step and invest in the life of a trafficking survivor by becoming a fundraiser. What can you do with $24?…5 cups of Starbucks, a tank of gas, a movie and popcorn…For $24, you can provide 1 week of education, 2 weeks of counseling, 3 weeks of housing, 4 weeks of food for a trafficking survivor. Go to the Fundraise tab to become a fundraiser or to donate and again, share your journey on social media using the hashtags #raiseyourarmchallenge and #freedom424.
TIER 3: In addion to Tier 1 and 2, RUN for their lives. Running requires effort and action and may be difficult, uncomfortable, or even painful. Think about the lives of these women and children and how their experiences have been hard and run through your pain. Run for the girl whose name has been on your arm for the last 30 days. AND if you fundraise $50 or more, you can run for FREE!
Our races are led and organized entirely by volunteers – people just like you! We’re always looking for passionate, positive people to help with our races. We are in need of volunteers to prepare for the race as well as on race day. If you’re interested in joining the volunteer team for #R4TLroanoke, please click on the volunteer tab at the top of the page.