On October 3, 2010 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Fayetteville will participate in the Stop Child Trafficking Now Community Walk. The event will be held in Festival Park.
Fayetteville is one of 39 cities that will be hosting community walks the weekend of 2-3 October. The walks are designed to heighten awareness and raise money to combat child trafficking. I can’t think of any better cause, and I plan to be there, along with all my family.
I first learned about the walk from my church. Manna Church in Fayetteville, NC is a non-denominational church of over 5,000 members with A Vision to Change the World. Manna Church has an outreach ministry called Coins for Children and is a sponsor of the Stop Child Trafficking Now organization. Watch this video by our Senior Pastor Michael Fletcher:
As much as we would like to pretend that child trafficking is not a problem here in the United States, or in our own local area, the facts say differently. According to the Department of Justice, over 300,000 children are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation each year. North Carolina is the 8th most likely state for human trafficking to occur. And, truck stops, sporting events, Craigslist and other venues are all being used to make money off of child prostitution.
Sadly, it was almost one year ago that Fayetteville had its own face-to-face encounter with child prostitution as news of the rape and murder of Shaniya Davis broke all of our hearts.
The Community Walks are a way to raise money for Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow). This non-profit organization is trying to stop child trafficking by addressing the demand side of it. Enlisting trained special operatives from the military, police, and federal and state intelligence organizations, SCTNow sends out teams to work undercover and build packages of evidence against predators that can be turned over to law enforcement authorities to convict the predators, and send them to jail.
As a veteran and former interrogator in a special operations unit here at Fort Bragg, that approach appeals to me, as I know the caliber of the training and planning of those experts. I admire their willingness to get involved and make a difference. I admire that they don’t just talk about it, but dedicate their skills to attack the problem, without any thought of recognition or reward.
As the video and websites make very clear, once you know about this problem, you can’t just walk away.
The Stop Child Trafficking Community Walk at Festival Park in Fayetteville is one way to get involved. It’s easy to sign up, and there is no fee. If you want a t-shirt, the fee is $10, and if you want to make donations, you can start your own team or click any link to donate to another team or individual.
Please come out and join us on October 3rd, and help us change the world.