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DBU Sorority Raises Funds to Prevent Human Trafficking in India
January 17, 2012 | by Kalie Lowrie
Dallas, TX – The tragedy of human trafficking and slavery may not daily be on the forefront of the minds of many college students, but that’s not the case for sorority sisters at Dallas Baptist University who have banded together to raise awareness and money for this issue.
Zeta Chi members (left to right) Meredith Bacon, Kelsey Grose and Sorority President Hannah Wolfers.
Members of Zeta Chi, one of the Christian sororities on the Dallas Baptist campus, have adopted the organization As Our Own as their philanthropy project, burdened by the fact that girls their own age in many countries are subjected to these terrible circumstances. As Our Own is a non-profit organization that works to bring freedom to young girls in India who are in danger of being trapped in the human trafficking epidemic that plagues the streets of this third-world country.
India, boasting a population of more than one billion, has approximately 25.7 million orphans, a higher rate than any other country in the world. With such a staggering number of unclaimed children, As Our Own also reports that girls as young as seven are horrifyingly being forced into the sex trade.
Under the weight of such numbers, Zeta Chi organized what they thought would be a one-time fund-raising project last Christmas to help buy dresses for girls in the Indian orphanage. But, that has turned into a passion for many of the DBU students.
“We realized how many girls in our group had a passion to end sex slavery,” explained sorority President Hannah Wolfers. “We contacted As Our Own, and they were wonderful to welcome us to their team.”
As a result, the sorority decided to make a concentrated effort to support this mission. Last year, the young women handmade hair bows to send to the orphans, including encouraging notes and prayers with them. They have also raised funds to support the educational and physical needs of the children.
This spring, Zeta Chi is sponsoring a campus-wide coffee house to raise donations specifically for As Our Own. The money raised will be given to sponsor two or three Zeta Chi members in the Dallas Rock n' Roll Marathon this April, where they will be running for Parul, an orphaned seven-year-old girl in India that is currently being cared for by As Our Own ministries.
"Zeta Chi is passionate about supporting As Our Own because we realize that it is such a tender and significant subject that is being addressed," said Suzanne Erdely, coordinator of fundraising efforts for Zeta Chi. "Precious young children are being spared from the horrific life of human trafficking because of these efforts."
While these college students have not physically seen those they are helping, they have confidence that they are making a difference in the lives of these children.
“It is difficult not directly witnessing the outcome of our endeavors,” Erdely commented, “but we have faith in God that He is allowing us to be a part of some intense and rewarding efforts."
Ultimately, the sorority sisters feel compelled to share the love of Jesus Christ with the children half a world away, knowing if the tables were turned it would be their prayer that someone would do the same for them.
“We believe God has a specific plan for each girl trapped in sex slavery,” Wolfers concluded. “We know they are loved by their Father in Heaven. We want them to feel that love … and through us, they are able to experience the unconditional and unending love of Christ.”
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