CIU students raise awareness against human trafficking with 5K run
By Naomi Balk
CIU Student Writer
Columbia International University students, alumni and members of the community put on their running shoes for the “5K for Freedom,” a race to raise awareness and funding for Lighthouse for Life, a ministry to victims of human trafficking. The race across campus was hosted by CIU’s Student Mission Connection (SMC).
Lisa Kajr of Lighthouse for Life in the Columbia area thanked and encouraged the runners before the race.
“What you are doing today may not seem like much but your participation (in this 5K) is huge because, first, it means you get human trafficking is a problem and second, it shows that you are willing to make a difference,” Kajr said.
CIU alumna Alanna Batterman, a former CIU athlete came back to campus to take part in the race on a sunny and mild spring afternoon.
“I loved it. It felt really worshipful as I could enjoy what God has made, and it made me realize I wish and long for there to be something more I could do,” Batterman said of the Lighthouse ministry. “It’s so important to be aware of the issue so that God can work and rescue people from this kind of trade.”
SMC President Emily Reims said all the proceeds will be matched by a donation from SMC.
“The inspiration for this event came from several members of SMC who had a heart to help those in human trafficking,” Reims said.
Student Andrew McNeil, Vice President of Student Activities, said taking initiative and creating positive impact is at the core of CIU.
“I am proud of SMC for impacting the student body and the wider community through creating awareness of human trafficking,” McNeil said. “Being involved in making a difference and creating an impact is part of who we are at CIU.”
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