A young girl who has just turned 15 is told she’s going to India to find work and send money back to her family. She will be taken on a trip there. However, she does not know that, later, she will find herself in an auction where men will bid on her to be their slave and she will have no choice but to go with them. ˆ† is estimated that nearly 30,000 girls are trafficked into sex slavery each year.
Key Club had a dance-a-thon to raise money for Tiny Hands international, a Christian organization that works to get young girls out of sex trafficking. “It’s a Lincoln organization meaning it’s headquarters is here in Lincoln,” Key Club Sponsor Judy Tuttle said. “What they do is set up border stations on the border between Nepal and India. Their job is to intercept girls who might be taken into India to be sex trafficked, so they try to intercept the girls before they’re taken across the border.” Tuttle went on to say that at these borders they have experts who know what to look for when it comes to sex trafficking, like one or more girls with one adult who don’t seem like they know each other or the adult very well.
“Once they’ve intercepted the girls, they try to get them back into their homes, but a lot of times that’s hard because their parents have received money for them going with these men because they think they’re going somewhere where they can help out the family, so sometimes they’re not willing to take the girls back,” Tuttle said. “If that’s the case, they put these rescued girls into safe houses, where they teach them a way of making their own money, so they don’t have to be reliant on these scammers trying to traffic them in India.” Key Club raised about $800 for Tiny Hands this year, which is not a huge number, but if you think about it, every $25 to $50 saves a girl.
“That says we were able to save at least 16 girls by doing just that one dance-a-thon.” Tuttle said. According to Tuttle, Key Club is the high school equivalent to the Kiwanis Club, which is an organization of adults who want to do service or show leadership in the community. They have set up these key clubs in high schools so they can recruit high school age students and give them ways to lead, serve, and give back to their community. “Key Club has done other things throughout the year besides the dance-a-thon,” Tuttle said. “At Thanksgiving we helped hand out food to needy people at the Center for People in Need, and in December we helped out with Toys for Tots, which helps provide toys for families in need during Christmas time.”