“I attended an awareness event at Radius Church in August of this year. Prior to that event, I had only very basic knowledge of Lighthouse for Life and human trafficking. As I sat there listening to the speakers and watching the videos, the things that I was hearing seemed completely unreal and sad to me. How could such things be happening right here close to us?
There I sat, with my mother, who brought me there to learn awareness and keep me safe. SAFE. Safe is something many of these victims I am hearing about have never known. I sat listening with my mother, while my father was home with my siblings, in our comfortable, safe, loving home. I have never known the sadness, rejection and hopelessness that these people have faced. Immediately, two feelings rushed over me. I was so incredibly thankful for the life I have, and I felt an urgency to do something. Something…anything…I sat thinking, “What can I do?” I love baking and thought about having a bake sale to raise money for Lighthouse for Life.
I mentioned my idea to a few friends hoping they would be as excited as I was. They knew nothing about what I was talking about, and didn’t seem interested. I kept thinking about my idea. About six weeks later, my mom brought up that she had bought a buggy full of baking mixes on clearance several months back and had no idea why she had bought them. I knew immediately what to do with them! I said to her that we should use them for a bake sale for Lighthouse for Life. My mom agreed!
We began planning and booked a place and time right then. The lady at Tractor Supply, where we booked the event, and NEVER heard of human trafficking! We were able to share information with lots of people at our bake sale. So many people were generous to donate money, some without even getting any baked goods.
That night in August, as I sat listening, all I could think was that if I were in these girls’ situation, I would want someone and someplace like Lighthouse for Life to help me and be there for me I knew I had to find a way to help and I am so glad that Jesus put that on my heart and gave me the idea! I hope to have more bake sales in the future.”
— Claire Wooten
We would like to express a special thanks to the five dealerships who have been faithful partners with Lighthouse for Life since its beginning!
If you would like to make an end of the year contribution to Lighthouse for Life, or send a gift “In Honor Of” someone you love this Christmas, visit our website!
* A decrease of $216.96 from October
Thanks to all the attendees and volunteers who attended our Lighthouse Holiday Marketplace. It was a HUGE success! We are already looking forward to hosting it again next year!
Mark your calendars for our next event Fight Back with Joy: A Comedy Night Fundraiser on January 28th!
We are very thankful for our Board of Directors and their leadership/counsel to Lighthouse for Life. One of our board members, Raynia McGee, is a licensed Psychologist with a tremendous heart for the hurting. Here is her testimony.
“It is truly an honor and privilege to be able to see all God has done with Lighthouse for Life. Two years ago, I joined the Board due to my passion for and medical training in helping those who have experienced significant trauma. As a psychiatrist, my time is often spent seeing patients in the office or hospital. However, I felt God leading me to give more of my time and talents to contribute to His plan for Lighthouse for Life. It has been humbling to see how often others have volunteered their time, talents, and financial support and prayers to be a part of ending human trafficking We are truly laying the groundwork to change the lives of young women for generations to come. I’m grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you. Thank you for supporting and standing with Lighthouse for Life.”
On November 30, WIS posted the headline, ‘Two charged in sex trafficking case after incident involving teens at a Columbia hotel.’ Using Facebook as their gateway, Michael Carter, 30, and Shalil Alford, 25, lured four teenagers, ages 15-17, to the Days Inn on Bush River Rd. There, the teens were trafficked for sex for three days before law enforcement became aware of the situation. Both Carter and Alford have been arrested. Unfortunately, this is just one example of many cases being identified throughout Columbia.
Pornography is a deeply rooted source that fuels the sex trafficking industry and it’s flooding our communities in epidemic waves. If we want to end trafficking, we must also end pornography. South Carolina is taking action. State Senator Darrel Jackson (D-Richland) prefiled a proposal on December 13, to make “revenge porn” a misdemeanor punishable with a find up to $1,000 or a year in prison.
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