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Run 4 The Cause proceeds to fight local child sex trafficking

(Photo courtesy of Josh Sorenson)

The second annual Run 4 The Cause 5K, held by Christy’s Cause, took place Feb. 25 at Living Waters Church in Estero.

This 5K was the inaugural event for Christy’s Cause, a local non-profit focused on eradicating child sex trafficking, just last year.

Hundreds of people from around the Southwest Florida community, including several FGCU students, took part in either the run that took place at 7 a.m. or the walk that took place at 8:45 a.m.

Grace Talerico, an FGCU student who participated in the run, said, “I wanted to participate in this 5k because human trafficking is much more common in our community than people would think, and so I wanted to help and get involved in any way that I could.”

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Christy’s Cause was founded in 2015 by Christy Ivie, after returning home from Cambodia.

This trip, she says was the “tipping point,” when she says she realized, “I just couldn’t turn my head… I refuse to be that adult. I can’t put my head in the sand and pretend that this isn’t happening and that I’m not strong enough to do something about it.”

Since Christy’s Cause’s start, the non-profit has been able to partner with several others that are fighting human sex trafficking locally, including Wings of Shelter and FGCU’s own Human Trafficking Resource Center.

Christy’s Cause is going to be releasing a story of a local human trafficking survivor, called Taylor’s Story, within the next month. Christy’s Cause received $4,000 from Wells Fargo at this race, which will cover the cost of producing and releasing Taylor’s Story.

The remaining proceeds raised from the 5K will go toward producing more PSAs about sex trafficking to be aired on channels like MTV and BET and collaborating with the Student Nurses Association here at FGCU.

This collaboration with the SNA will train nurses to better identify and help victims that come through the local hospitals.

If you missed the race but still want to get involved, Christy suggests starting by reaching out to the Human Trafficking Resource Center on campus or with local organizations such as Wings of Shelter and sharing videos that Christy’s Cause puts out on social media.

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