Our church has adopted a 17 year old girl and her sister. The 17 year old is a survivor of domestic sex-trafficking - she had been "convinced" by an older man (usually not older than 25!) to 'work' for him. I never knew how much girls in the US are forced into prostitution by merely feeling like they have no other choice because they are too young and oftentimes don't have good support systems at home. And how most of the girls (and boys) being prostituted are under-age. It makes my heart break...
I've learned so much from Courtney's House and from GEMS (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services). I've gotten to personally know the Executive Director of Courtney's House, who is a former teenage sex-trafficking survivor. Her story is remarkable and I'm inspired by her.
So, it was a no brainer for me to want to give back to this 17 year old and her sister this year. I organized the church's drive for this.
She had an MP3 player on her list. I knew someone was getting her a computer. She also had digital camera on her list among other electronics, clothes and teenage necessities like make-up. I had also heard some people in the church questioning her 'wants' of these electronics.
To that, I said, why shouldn't she deserve these things? Most typical 17 year olds would get these items, so why not her? And shouldn't our answer be: she's especially deserving of these things? Think of all she's been through and we're questioning why she should get a computer, MP3 player and camera???
So, I thought, I can get her this MP3 player and decided on the i.pod na.no. As soon as I clicked 'Confirm Order', I was elated!
This was the best gift I'm giving this season! Joy to the world!
And our present to each other? We're off to the Turks and Caicos... Happy New Year!