Browsed by
Category: Supporters

Stories about people who support O.U.R. in many different ways.

A 5-Year-Old’s Wish to Help “Real-Life” Superheroes

A 5-Year-Old’s Wish to Help “Real-Life” Superheroes


 

Five-year-old Benji asked for two things for his birthday:

1.     A hug from each of his friends

2.     His own “Superhero Run”

Not only did he just want these two things, this sweet young boy asked for no presents. He wanted to support the real-life superheroes instead. As Benji’s parents helped him plan his birthday race, they had many conversations with him about superheroes.

Benji’s parents explained to him that there are many real-life superheroes. They discussed firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and other first responder jobs with Benji to explain what they do.

In one of the multiple conversations, Benji’s parents mentioned the O.U.R. Jump Team. They explained that the O.U.R. Jump Team disguise themselves to find bad guys and rescue children.

Once Benji heard that, he started saying that his superhero race would help rescue these lost children that he just learned about.

This boy, as young as five years old, knew that he could join this fight with us.

Benji’s parents put it best when they said, “We believe that knowledge is power, and that as we teach our children about difficult issues such as human trafficking (simplified and to their level), and let them contribute to the cause, they will feel empowered and have increased confidence that evil can indeed be overcome with good.”

Benji’s superhero 1K race with his friends raised over $500 to save children from trafficking. We are grateful for his support in this cause even at five years old! Everyone can make a difference, even small superheroes!

 


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Do you want to create a YOURrescue campaign for your community? Visit yourrescue.org to start today.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.


 

9 Ways to Shine YOUR Light Against Trafficking

9 Ways to Shine YOUR Light Against Trafficking

 

As Tim Ballard often states, there is a scientific principle that says darkness cannot exist where there is light. By shining OUR light every day, we can outshine the darkness of human trafficking.

This holiday season, we want to focus on how exactly we can shine our light in our daily lives. Below are just a few ways to spark some ideas for you to implement in your own life. We can end child trafficking together!

1.     Talk about O.U.R.

This may seem like a simple task, but really it is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness of the issue. We often hear people say that they heard about O.U.R. from their friend, co-worker, or family member. You are the most powerful in your own circle of influence!

2. Give a gift when you give to O.U.R.

When you donate to O.U.R. this holiday season, you can receive an exclusive holiday gift! This is a great way fight trafficking and spread the word to a special someone when you donate in their name. Must donate from this special link to receive the O.U.R. lantern, ornament, or certificate. This offer has free shipping, no taxes, and tax deductible! Must order by Dec 15th to receive by Christmas.

3.     Bookmark AmazonSmile

Amazon Smile is Amazon’s way of giving back. When you shop through AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your purchase price goes to O.U.R. The available options and prices are exactly the same as the normal Amazon site.
It can be hard to remember to switch over to Amazon Smile, so bookmark the link to your browser! (Not available through mobile app at this time.)

4.     Put the Human Trafficking Hotline number in your phone

If you are ever suspicious of human trafficking, there are representatives to answer your call on the Human Trafficking Hotline 24/7.

The number is: 1 (888) 373-7888. You can also text 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

It is important to have easy access to this number in your phone in case you ever see something suspicious. In the coming month, we will be coming out with training videos to help you learn the signs of trafficking.

5.     Read an O.U.R. Prevention Article with your Kids

One of the greatest tools against trafficking is prevention. Reading articles pertinent to your children’s lives on our blog can help open their mind and teach them how to be safe on the internet. Of course, only discuss with them what you think they are ready for and what is age appropriate.

3 Ways Kids are Trafficked in America

3 Tech Settings You Need to Protect Your Kids Online

How to Maintain Hope when Learning About Trafficking

3 Places You Might See Trafficking and What to do About It

6.     Sign up for the O.U.R. Prayer List

We have operators across the world on operations to rescue children. Every now and then we get a prayer request from them asking for extra good thoughts and prayers during the times they are close to a rescue. We recently sent out a prayer request for a young survivor as she was testifying in court that day against her abuser. Our operatives and aftercare specialists immensely appreciate this kind of support.

Text OURprayers to 51555 to join!

 

7.     Contact your Area Team Leader/Sign Up to be a Volunteer

We have Area Teams of volunteers growing across the nation. These teams spread awareness, raise funds, and sometimes participate in local service projects in Aftercare homes. Go to our website ourrescue.org/join-the-fight and scroll down to the “Volunteer” button to complete the application. If there is not an Area Team near you, there are still many opportunities for you to be involved!

8.     Buy an O.U.R. Shirt for Someone (or for Yourself!)

Our store is full of O.U.R. shirts, sweatshirts, and other accessories. All proceeds go to ending child trafficking. By repping an O.U.R. shirt or sticker, you are spreading awareness all around you. Check out our store here.

9.     Use your Talents to Fight Trafficking

Start by making a list of your talents and things you like to do. From baking, to fashion, to surfing, any talent can be used to shine a light against trafficking! Check out yourrescue.org to see the creative campaigns that volunteers have come up with across the world.

For example, Ryan Patterson used his love for surfing as a way to contribute. He began restoring an old surfboard, and something amazing happened. “Over a 92-day period, the board transformed and became more beautiful than it had ever been, but not because it was renewed,” Ryan said, “The beauty came from its character… Just like the rescued children of O.U.R., the board’s past did not define it… it simply laid the foundation for a beautiful future.” He then auctioned off this surfboard to raise funds for O.U.R.! Read the full story here.

 


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

It means the world to us when you use your talents to support the cause.

Yourrescue.org is our platform especially designed for you to campaign your own fundraisers.

Create your own today by clicking here!

Two Pittsburgh Steelers will Rep O.U.R. at Monday’s Game

Two Pittsburgh Steelers will Rep O.U.R. at Monday’s Game

Two players from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger and Jordan Berry, will be wearing special O.U.R. cleats during this Monday’s game to support the fight against child trafficking. Each player on the team will be representing a cause as a part of the “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative.

Jordan Berry, the Steeler’s kicker, decided to paint his own shoes. “I only did the one on my plant foot,” said Berry. “I don’t want to mess my kicking foot too much. On my plant foot I will do my own. I did it myself. I have the stuff at home to do it. I thought, why not give it a try. If it wasn’t any good I could call around and get someone to do it for me. But it turned out pretty good.”


Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will also be wearing O.U.R. shoes to support the cause.

Tim Ballard visited the Pittsburgh Steelers this year to share O.U.R.’s mission with them. At the beginning of November, Coach Mike Tomlin and Tim Ballard announced the new partnership between the Steelers and O.U.R. We are excited to have the Steelers’ support in the fight against trafficking!

The game will air this Monday, December 4th, at 8:15pm EST, available on espn.com/watch.


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Everyone, including high school sports teams, is always welcome at CrossFit O.U.R. All membership proceeds go to supporting the fight against trafficking. For more information, visit www.crossfitour.com.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.

High School Lacrosse Team Signs on at CrossFit O.U.R.

High School Lacrosse Team Signs on at CrossFit O.U.R.

Herriman High School Lacrosse Coach Steve Haymond and his team recently signed on with CrossFit O.U.R. in Utah. Coach Haymond had been working with his friend Anna for eight months to find a gym that would fit their needs. After looking into signing on with CrossFit O.U.R., he determined that the gym would be a great fit for his team and would help them towards their goal of becoming a Top 3 lacrosse program in the state of Utah.

Coach Haymond, the team and their parents attended a demo of the gym that included an explanation of O.U.R.’s mission. What caught everyone’s attention was the idea of working out at a gym with a cause. Ethan, who plays defense on the team, said, “The fact that there’s a cause behind this gym is great and makes me want to keep going there to help out.” The team members have enjoyed the O.U.R. CrossFit equipment and trainers so far.

 

Before working out at this gym, the team hadn’t ever participated in organized workouts. “The atmosphere and challenge excite them,” Haymond said. In order to become a Top 3 team in the state of Utah, the team is required to focus on developing academically, athletically, and personally. “I strongly think attending CrossFit O.U.R. will help them in all three categories… their involvement with a cause like CrossFit O.U.R. will help bring awareness to issue outside of their personal sphere.”

 

Bryan, who also plays defense on the team, has been playing lacrosse for seven years. After attending the gym demo he said, “I learned what we’re going to do and how it can really help us for both strength and conditioning. I learned about [O.U.R.] and I think it’s awesome I get to go to the gym.”

100% of every CrossFit Membership goes to the rescue and rehabilitation of children affected by trafficking. We are grateful for this lacrosse team’s support as they work hard towards their goal of becoming a Top 3 team in the state. In addition to increasing their athletic abilities, they are also helping rescue children across the world!

 


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Everyone, including sports teams, are always welcome at CrossFit O.U.R. For more information, visit www.crossfitour.com.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.

3 Creative YOURrescue Campaigns

3 Creative YOURrescue Campaigns

Many of you may be familiar with our platform YOURrescue, where volunteers all over the world can create their own campaigns in their local communities to benefit Operation Underground Railroad.

Over 200 fundraisers have been completed so far, bringing in over $718,000. We are so grateful for the dedication and hard work from each volunteer who organizes these projects; we know it is not an easy task to plan and execute a fundraiser! It is inspiring to see how people across the world use their unique talents to join the fight against trafficking.

Whether your passion is art or running, rock climbing or business management, your talents are important in spreading awareness of the issue of modern-day slavery.

These three YOURrescue campaigns are examples of people who work in completely different fields and are in different stages of life, but have created unique ways to support the cause.

1. No Slack Climbathon

For 35 years, the Virginia Commonwealth University Outdoor Adventure Program has been encouraging students to be active outdoors and engage with their community.

This year, they decided they wanted to broaden their reach. By holding a Climbathon that supports O.U.R., the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program would enable students to use their influence to change children’s lives.

“By hosting a Climbathon, we are challenging participants to push themselves physically and test their endurance in order to reflect the long-term effort required for an OUR mission to be successful,” the event coordinators said.

This event raised over $1,000. To put that number in perspective, the average price to “buy” a virgin child in the world of trafficking is $1,000. Thank you, VCU Outdoor Adventure Program team, for raising money to help rescue a child!

To see their YOURrescue campaign page, click here.

2. Knox Academy Art Auction

The Knox Academy Art Auction was started by a 13-year-old girl who had recently learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in school. She wished that she could have done something to help. When she learned about modern-day slavery, she realized that there was an opportunity to fight against it today!

This young girl is a wonderful artist, so she decided to hold an art auction and donate the proceeds to O.U.R. Because of her hard work, over $1,000 was raised. Not only did she double her goal, she raised her voice for an important cause!

Learn more about the event here.

3. Williams Flower and Gift

William Flower and Gift is a floral shop in the Pacific Northwest that is dedicated to ending child trafficking. 10% of all revenue from greeting cards is donated to O.U.R. Because they have partnerships with many florists around the world, their greeting cards can be delivered almost anywhere internationally!

This floral shop’s revenue share program is making a difference in many lives across the world. “Another goal that we are excited about is providing awareness to our customers and community of the situation and the solutions,” the team said. With Williams Flower and Gift shop’s efforts in spreading awareness of this issue, they are meeting their goal of helping many children become free.

See the campaign page here.

How to Make Your Own YOURrescue Campaign

Awareness leads to action. These creative YOURrescue campaigns, along with many others, have reached communities and people that we couldn’t have reached on our own.

Creating a fundraiser through YOURrescue connects you directly with our Development Team. They can assist you with setting up your campaign page and answer any questions you may have.

We are incredibly grateful for all of the campaigns that have been completed thus far, and we can’t wait to see what ideas you come up with next. With your support, we are able to continue rescuing children all over the world.


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Do you want to create a YOURrescue campaign for your community? Visit yourrescue.org to start today.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.

O.U.R. Receives Large Donation from Life Leadership

O.U.R. Receives Large Donation from Life Leadership

On October 14, 2017, Life Leadership held a “Life on Life Push-up Contest” for the benefit of Operation Underground Railroad. Thousands of Life Members gathered in Louisville, KY, to participate in this push-up contest. They have raised over $758,000 and counting, as other participants are continually sending in donations!

Life Leadership provides financial, professional, and personal development resources for entrepreneurs. Their Life on Life Initiative helps people gain freedom, by providing the resources necessary to work on literacy and other important skills. Through inspiring awareness campaigns, their corporate employees and Life Members are able to volunteer their time and resources to give to those in need.

Life Members and employees did just that at this push-up contest. One of the most inspiring participants is Isaiah, whose video is below. Isaiah courageously got out of his wheelchair to participate in the contest. O.U.R. SVP of Rescue & Recovery Matt Osborne and Life Leadership spokesman Chris Swanson joined him.

Isaiah’s willingness to be a part of this initiative is just one of the many inspiring stories of these Life Members. Below is a video of our SVP of Rescue & Recovery, Matt Osborne, receiving the check from the amazing Life Leadership team.

The donation from this push-up contest is incredibly generous and will change the lives of many children – this contribution allows us to help rescue and rehabilitate kids in an unprecedented way.

 

 

A Cross Country Bicycle Tour Raises Over $5,000 for O.U.R. Before the Event Begins

A Cross Country Bicycle Tour Raises Over $5,000 for O.U.R. Before the Event Begins

On November 4th, Wyatt Buttars will embark on a bike ride across the entire United States along the Southern Tier to raise awareness for Operation Underground Railroad and share his passion for the cause.

Buttars first heard about O.U.R. when his brother invited him to see “The Abolitionists” documentary. “I only learned about the name of the movie before going in, ‘The Abolitionists,’ Buttars recalled, “but I still had no idea what I was about to see.”

After learning that there are over 2 million children in the commercial sex trade throughout the world, Buttars knew he had to do something.

He said, “My heart raced throughout the film. I had tears. It was a powerful documentary about saving children from being sex slaves. I had no idea how devastating this problem is in the world… This was all very alarming to me. It hit me so hard that I wanted to do something about it.”

Ever since he was young, he had dreamed about going on a cross country bike ride. After watching “The Abolitionists,” everything seemed to fall into place. He decided to ride across the country to raise awareness and money for O.U.R.

Amazingly, this bike race is not the only thing this young man is doing to raise awareness.

Buttars has already held multiple fundraisers for O.U.R. – including selling O.U.R. merchandise at local school events, showing “The Abolitionists” documentary at his local library, and running a booth in a Wells Fargo building to spread awareness of the cause.

“I’m so excited, grateful, and happy to be able to do something like this. There are a lot of charities and people suffering around the world in so many different ways right now. This was one I hadn’t really known much about and I want to make it a point to spread awareness,” Buttars said.

He will begin in San Diego, CA, on November 4th and arrive in Jacksonville, FL, on December 17th. The goal is to raise over $7,500 for O.U.R. by the end of the bike ride in December – and he has already raised over $5,000! Click here to visit the campaign page.

We are so grateful for Wyatt Buttars and his friends, family and community for helping to raise awareness of human trafficking throughout the nation. It is exciting to see how our supporters use their voice and talents to rise up against this issue!


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Everyone has a voice in the fight against human trafficking. Have an idea for a campaign in your community? Visit www.yourrescue.org to submit your campaign idea and get it started.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.


 

Why a Medical Student from Switzerland Donated to O.U.R.

Why a Medical Student from Switzerland Donated to O.U.R.

“Because I wasn’t studying, the scholarship couldn’t be used for my schooling and I felt bad keeping it to myself. So I decided to give it to a good cause. I remembered about O.U.R. and so I gave it to them.” – Noah

Operation Underground Railroad recently received a generous donation from a young medical student in Switzerland named Noah. He is in his second year of medical school and in his free time he likes to play the guitar and spend time outside – especially fishing and hiking.

Noah was born in Switzerland and has spent most of his life there. In high school he was able to live with a family in the United States for a year, giving him the opportunity to gain dual citizenship in Switzerland and America.

Donating money is often a big sacrifice for a college student – but Noah was struck by Operation Underground Railroad’s mission. He first heard about O.U.R. when he saw Tim Ballard on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV, and never forgot it. Noah said,

“I watched the short documentary and really thought that this was a good cause…I wanted to do something. I could be helpful at my small level. So I thought that donating a little money was the least I could do.”

Noah had received some money for his studies, but couldn’t use it for schooling last year during a free semester that he used to travel to Israel. Noah said,

“I felt bad keeping it to myself. So I decided to give it to a good cause. I remembered about O.U.R. and so I gave it to them.”

This Swiss student’s support for O.U.R. is unique because to his knowledge, his community is not very familiar with O.U.R.. Because we are based in Utah, we are grateful for those with international connections that are able to contribute their time and talents to spreading awareness of our cause. Noah said, “I guess the [Blaze] didn’t know they had anyone listening from Switzerland, well, now they do!”


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Using your own talents to spread awareness about human trafficking is a great way to join the fight. Read about a man that restored a surfboard to raise money for O.U.R. here.

Join the fight. SHARE this article.

The Volcano100 Race: Why 2 Women Ran Around a Volcano for 24 Hours

The Volcano100 Race: Why 2 Women Ran Around a Volcano for 24 Hours

Volcano100 is an annual 100-mile mountain bike race in Costa Rica where over 1,000 bikers race around the Rincon de la Vieja volcano.

Monica McIntyre helps co-direct the race. She and her business partner had been wanting to add an ultra-trail run to the race for a while – meaning that a select few runners would spend 22 hours running around the volcano instead of biking it.

After becoming an active volunteer for O.U.R. this year, Monica had an idea. What if the 2017 Volcano100 race adopted O.U.R.’s cause for the race? And, what if they had a few runners run around the volcano to raise awareness for O.U.R.?

Suddenly the 2017 Volcano100 race took on a whole new meaning.

McIntyre’s business partner knew of two women from Costa Rica, Natalia and Amanda, who were ultra runners that may be interested in joining. After they extended the offer for them to “break the ground” for the new running trail around the volcano, Natalia and Amanda knew they needed to start learning more about O.U.R.’s cause. Amanda shared with us,

“When I first heard about Operation Underground Railroad, I was skeptical about the cause, because I wasn’t aware of the problem. After reading, researching and watching documentaries and learning more about the cause I became convinced that this problematic is something that concern all of us. It is a worldwide problem that is invisible.”

The big race did not stop developing there. Volcano100 directors also reached out to Johanna Solano, Miss Costa Rica 2011.

She was in the middle of training for an Ironman race when she was invited to participate in the bike race. She immediately accepted the invitation to represent O.U.R. for the race. The Volcano100 directors hope to bring her back in future years to participate.

On September 1st at noon, Natalia and Amanda took off on their 22 hour run from the Stadium of Liberia. The conditions weren’t exactly comfortable – it was 98 degrees (F) with 90% humidity. The mountain bike race began early the next morning so the bikers could join them on the last 5 kilometers of the run.

When asked if they ever felt like giving up, Amanda said,

“It was my first time running for a cause, and since I committed to it and started my training the only thing that I had in mind was that my running would help others. I found myself running for something bigger than a medal, a time, a position, I was training harder and more focused than I have ever trained because in my mind it wasn’t about me, it was about thousands of children that are facing a horrible reality and I could help them just by given them a “voice”, by make them visible.”

“It was great to see all of the bike racers along the way that cheered us up when they saw us. Knowing we were helping to create more consciousness and awareness gave us energy to keep on going.” -Amanda

Much support was provided to these runners through the entire process. Their personal trainers, massage therapists, and nutritionists gave them all the support they needed, because they each wanted to help with the cause.

Natalia added,

“This was my first time running for 24 hours, before this race, my longest period of time running was for 14 hours. It was definitely a challenge to keep running for so many hours and kms but the idea of stopping never came to my mind, I run the whole time thinking that we were doing this for a child that didn’t choose to be part of this horrible reality, as my partner said during some parts of our race: “thinking about giving up is sending a message to all of these children saying that there is no hope. They must know there are many people out there trying their best to change their reality, to find them and to give them hope.”

Although Costa Rica is one of the top ten countries that struggles with sex tourism, there is little awareness. Miss Costa Rica, along with Natalia and Amanda, participated in this race to help raise awareness in their country about child trafficking. Their dream is to create an O.U.R. Volunteer Area Team to continue spreading awareness of the trafficking issue in Costa Rica.

This inspiring story is not the first of its kind. There are hundreds of people across the world raising awareness about child trafficking. That is a huge step in the direction to end child trafficking globally. With all of these modern-day abolitionists, we are strengthening our army against trafficking every day. We are grateful for all of those involved with this race and fundraiser.


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Many people raise funds for O.U.R. through races and events. A few months ago, some O.U.R. volunteers held a 5k race in Brian Head, Utah. There was recently a devastating fire there, and they made the awards out of salvaged trees from the burn area. Read the full story about why they did so here.

Spread awareness. SHARE this article.


 

Inside Sales’ Laptop Donation Changes Lives in Latin America

Inside Sales’ Laptop Donation Changes Lives in Latin America

We wanted to share some great news provided to us by one of our partner ministries in Latin America that is doing a tremendous job to rescue and rehabilitate precious girls who fell victim to the world of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. O.U.R. provided a couple of laptops to this ministry, who in turned shared them with those most in need.

Laptop number one was given to a young girl who is attending a missionary training school while she completes high school. The laptop will help this young woman in her studies and will reduce the risk that she is lured back onto the streets.

Laptop number two was provided to a cyber investigator in that country’s federal government. Before receiving the O.U.R. laptop, the investigator was forced to conduct his online investigations from various cyber cafes in the area and could only store his information on USB flash drives to keep his work organized. Within 24 hours of beginning work on the donated laptop, the investigator found information on an American citizen who appears to be a serial pedophile. The local investigator contacted the US authorities working in that country, and the two units are advancing this case in earnest. We hope and pray that they will make an arrest in the coming days.  Beyond this case, our partner ministry estimates that the cyber investigator will be able to put together hundreds of intelligence packages on suspected pedophiles in the coming months.

Inside Sales’ Do Good Foundation story behind donating these laptops.

Here is a direct quote from our partners at this fabulous rehabilitation ministry: “What a blessssssssssing! Thank you for your support both in tools and service. As an organization we could not do one half of what we do if not for OUR support. God bless you and your works around the world.

– Matt Osborne

Senior Vice President for Rescue and Rehabilitation
Operation Underground Railroad


What can YOU Do?

our_logo
DONATE TODAY

Laptop donations help fight trafficking all over the world. Some donated laptops in the Dominican Republic provided the local government with the opportunity to be trained on new ways to protect children in their country. Read the full story here.

Join the fight. SHARE this article.