CHICAGO (CBS) — A Deerfield-based an evangelical Christian university football team has been raising money for women in need thousands of miles away.
For the third year, members of the Trinity International University Trojans football team were holding a fundraiser for a women’s shelter for sex trafficking victims in northern India.
“That money is helping to rescue girls in India, and rehabilitate them, and give them a chance for hope for the future,” said Rachel Kersjes, spokesperson for Bright Hope, a Christian organization that works with the team on the fundraising effort.
Kersjes said the football players go to India every year to see where the money is going.
“They go each year, and they see the safe house, and they meet the girls, and they become like big brothers to these girls. It gives them hope; like, ‘Oh, wow, these are guys who actually care about me,’” she said.
The team also uses each football game to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking in India.
“The goal is to transform five girls who’ve gone through human trafficking, who have now survived it, and they’re out of it,” Kersjes said.
Kersjes said the team’s advocacy and the money they raise make a big difference.
“Right now, it’s helping the girls who are in the safe house have the tools they need, the education they need, the psychological support they need in order to overcome what they’ve been through,” she said.
Since 2013, the TIU team has raised $22,500 for Bright Hope’s anti-human trafficking initiative.