LoveFast 2016—will you be there?
‘LoveFast’ is a 30-hour famine-style event that will be held on April 15 in Hostetter Chapel. Participants can choose to have sponsors financially support them while they fast from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., or students can simply attend the event without fasting or fundraising (this action requires a $10 cover charge to enter).
All of the funds raised from this event go to Love146, an anti-sex trafficking organization. According to the Love146 website, “Love146 is an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention.”
“We chose Love146 because we found a large part of the student body felt passionate about ending sex trafficking,” Erin Zakin, senior public relations major and PRSSA president said. “PRSSA has planned large fundraising events in the past, and we wanted to choose an organization all students wanted to help.”
The organization Love146 gets its name from an experience the founders had in Southeast Asia when they had the opportunity to accompany investigators going undercover into a brothel. Love146’s President and Co-founder, Rob Morris, wrote the following in regards to that pivotal encounter:
“We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children, raped each night, seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven, it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl.”
Morris and his colleague never found out what happened to #146. When the investigative team went back to raid the brothel and rescue the children, she wasn’t there.
“We have taken her number so that we remember why this all started, so that we must tell her story,” Morris said. “It is a number that was pinned to one girl, but it represents the millions enslaved. We wear her number with honor, with sorrow, and with a growing hope.”
According to Zakin attending the LoveFast is one way to support this incredible organization. “You should come to the event because not only is it a great cause, but it’s a great way to connect with others and make a change in the world,” Zakin said. “We’re going to have a ‘breaking of the fast’ with lots of great food, followed by worship sessions with Powerhouse, speakers and more!”