Freedom 4/24 Will Host Annual 5k Race To Raise Awareness For Sex Trafficking Victims
The annual Run 4 Their Lives 5K hosted by the non-profit Freedom 4/24 will take place at the end of the month. This event aims to raise awareness of human trafficking, and fundraise for prevention efforts and restoration houses for victims.
“Our mission is to prevent and end sexual exploitation and trafficking locally and globally,” Programs Manager Rachael Smith said. “We do that through raising awareness, providing prevention education and expanding the restoration work of our partners.”
The 5k will take place at Liberty Mountain Drive on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Runners pay a registration fee to race, which will fund Freedom
“Just come out and volunteer if you can’t pay the registration fee,” Smith said. “We still are really dependent on volunteer support and it is an easy way to get involved and still make a difference and impact. Run the race or come volunteer because we always have needs.”
According to Smith, Freedom 4/24 also offers a virtual 5k run option for people who want to attend but are unable to because of COVID-19.
The Run 4 Their Lives event will include an awareness exhibit, family games and food trucks including Blackwater Coffee, Rookies and Waffle Mania.
Freedom 4/24 was founded by former Liberty University student Christine Gelatt in 2008 after returning from a missions trip working with victims of human trafficking in Bangkok, Thailand. Gelatt returned to the United States motivated to make a difference, and shortly after her trip she began a T-shirt fundraiser and 5k run in an effort to raise money to send to Thailand.
“Her heart and passion was that she wanted to do something about it and nothing was not an option,” Smith said. “So she just started doing little things as a college student with all the other stuff she had on her plate. That’s kind of the model we’ve continued, but it’s neat that it was all started by the passion of a Liberty student.”
Today, the heart of Freedom 4/24’s mission remains the same — raising money to provide support to fellow organizations that provide aid to victims of human trafficking.
Freedom 4/24 partners with organizations domestically and internationally, including organizations such as Rebirth Homes, Street Ransom, Compassion to Act, Street Hope, Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and Beginnings Foundation.
Liberty students can use the code LUSTUDENT for $4 off the registration fee if they want to race. For more information on how to get involved visit this website.
Addi Tarr is a News Reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @addi_tarr.