Recently I met with my dear friend Monika, I wanted to find out more information about the 31:20 event she is hosting next week. She is doing a clothing auction to raise money for Extended Hands of Hope, she has hosted this event a few times. Considering her busy life and demanding schedule, I was curious to learn what motivates her to spend hours preparing, opening her home, raising over a thousand dollars and then giving it away. What is it about the ministry of Extended Hands of Hope that would inspire her to act in such a counter cultural way?
I knew Extended Hands of Hope worked to fight human trafficking, so I was thinking…
-poor women in other countries
-American women in their 20’s and 30’s walking the streets at night
-destitute families selling a child in order to have money for their next meal
However, Monika painted a different picture of human trafficking. One that is closer to home.
-the average age of entry into this type of trafficking is 13 years old
-sex being purchased at expensive, respected hotels
-busy hours are during the morning commute and the evening commute
-Denver is a hub for sex trafficking, the I-70/I-25 junction provides a smooth road for transportation of victims from Colorado to nearby states
-Denver is ranked 4th is the nation in annual revenue derived in a city from sex trafficking
-when a girl is rescued from trafficking, most often she is sent into foster care or a detention center
With tears rolling down her face Monika explained the current situation that is surrounding us...in our city, in my neighborhood. She reminded me that her only daughter is the age of so many girls who are being exploited. As hard as she tries she can’t stop thinking, “what if it were my 11 year old? Could there be anything that could stop me from rescuing her?” But instead of these young girls having sleep-overs or worrying about what cute outfit they are going to wear to school the next day, they are worrying about how many men will violate them during their next shift, or if they will be beaten by their pimp for displeasing a customer. Try as she might, Monika cannot ignore the evil she has learned about. That is where the clothing auction and Extended Hands of Hope come in.
Extended Hands of Hope is raising money to open a home called the Avanti house, where underage girls can be taken immediately after being rescued. Instead of a foster home or a detention center where they may or may not be physically safe, these girls will be provided an environment where they can begin to recover. Many of the victims have experienced homelessness and up to 90% have been sexually abused before being trafficked. For many of them, Extended Hands of Hope could be their first experience of true safety. The girls will be provided years of counseling, mentoring, schooling and job assistance. It is a long term program designed to bring hope and healing for these young ones who have endured years of pain and abuse.
After absorbing all that Monika was describing, I understood why she would make time in her full life for the clothing auction. Afterall, if we are followers of Christ are we not told that everyone is made in God’s image and whatever we do for another, we do for Christ? Can we pretend that these girls are not God’s children, that they are any different than our sisters or daughters? Each one of them deserves a outraged mom or dad who is fighting for their freedom and restoration. I am blessed to know Monika. One pissed off mom, full of righteous anger, ready to fight for these girls!
Join us and make a difference for these girls!
The 3rd Annual Ladies Clothing Auction on Monday, October 12th —Clean out your closets, and bring any of your unused clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and take home fabulous new items. All proceeds go to Extended Hands of Hope to fund Avanti House for underage girls rescued from sex trafficking. Email email@example.com for more details or find us on Facebook, 31:20 Non-Profit