EL DORADO HILLS, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--On Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 8:30am, Run For Courage, Inc. (RFC) will host its first annual Oakland Race To End Human Trafficking around beautiful Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif. The Oakland race will be RFC’s first expansion outside of its successful Sacramento race, currently in its fourth year.
“It was a nightmare our family was thrown into. I didn’t even know that human trafficking existed in the U.S., let alone thought my daughter would be taken and sold for sex over the Internet”
Additionally, 15 collaborating nonprofits and more than 13 retail vendors will be present on race day at the awareness fair following the race. “We take pride in our collaborative effort in the fight against human trafficking,” said Ashlie Bryant, executive director of Run For Courage. “It is our firm belief that this crime is bigger than any one organization and it will take groups of all types and purposes to put an end to this heinous crime.”
Millions of children suffer at the hands of captors and abusers in this $32 billion dollar global human trafficking “industry.” In the U.S. alone, officials estimate as many as 100,000 to 300,000 victims—with an average age of 13—are trafficked for sex each year. California is the only state in the nation that has three cities noted for their high incidence of sex trafficking.
RFC began more than three years ago, when a group of 11 women in El Dorado Hills, Calif., joined to raise awareness and combat human trafficking, organizing the first race in just 4 months. Co-founder Vicki Zito personally dealt with the reality of this heinous crime. Five years ago, her 17 year old daughter was taken from a suburban shopping center, sold for sex on Craigslist and trafficked for eight days before being rescued by the FBI. “It was a nightmare our family was thrown into. I didn’t even know that human trafficking existed in the U.S., let alone thought my daughter would be taken and sold for sex over the Internet,” Zito said. RFC became a stand-alone nonprofit organization in 2011.
During the race each year, RFC honors human trafficking survivors. This year, Minh Dang will be honored for her strength, courage and work to combat this crime. She is an amazing example of the type of survivor leader that is needed to give a voice to those who are exploited.
Run For Courage’s mission of combating human trafficking is accomplished by managing the races; human trafficking education in high schools, colleges and universities; and evaluating and funding a number of awareness, prevention and restoration programs consistent with RFC’s own mission. More than 90 percent of funds raised have contributed to supporting its mission. RFC announces the final funding for its beneficiaries on Dec. 31. This year’s recipients include:
- A New Day for Children – Residential victim restoration
- Agape International Missions – Residential victim restoration
- Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition – Human trafficking training of TSA and airline employees
- CASA – My Life My Choice education
- CAS-RE – Education of Law Enforcement to ensure compliance with human trafficking laws
- Glass Slipper – Prevention/restoration through self-esteem education
- The Grace Network – Direct victim assistance
- House of Acts /City of Refuge – Afterschool program for at risk youth who are targeted for trafficking
- Rahab’s House – Transitional housing for victims
About Run For Courage, Inc.
Run For Courage, Inc. is a nonprofit established to raise awareness and funds to combat human trafficking. Through its education program, RFC supports prevention efforts by educating high school and college students about human trafficking and how to avoid victimization. RFC also stages and organizes large-scale awareness events such as 5K and 10K races to create awareness within communities. Funds raised from these events support a variety of education, awareness and restoration efforts both domestically and abroad. To ensure both the efficiency and effectiveness of the programs to which it donates, RFC employs its proprietary Evaluate-Donate-Monitor methodology. To date, Run For Courage, Inc. has raised more than $400,000 with more than 90 percent of that going directly to education, prevention and restoration programs.