Everyday Heroes Race brings people together against human trafficking

Everyday Heroes Race brings people together against human trafficking

(Mary Dupuis, June 28, 2022)

Rochester Hills, MI – The annual Everyday Heroes Race 2 Rescue Fundraiser was recently held at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills.

On June 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the runners were able to participate in a 5km or 10km race in support of the rescue and rehabilitation of child victims of trafficking.

Race organizer Laurie said the race was not only held to raise awareness of child trafficking, but also to raise funds through ticket sales and donations to support the 501c3 organization . Dayspring International Ministries (DMI).

Once the expenses to organize the race are paid, all remaining money is donated directly to DMI to help in its mission to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked children. According to their website, DMI Rescue Mission Race 2 works for:

  • Be a voice for the voiceless
  • save the innocent
  • Build and staff shelters
  • Provide medical and psychological care
  • Organize awareness events
  • Communicate through the media to fight this crime
  • Educate and empower teachers, parents and children to prevent child trafficking

Laurie said she decided to organize the race years ago after attending a talk given by a trafficked person.

“She shared such a real, heartbreaking and devastating story and it got me started thinking about how I can do something about it,” Laurie said. “A lawyer who came in said, ‘Don’t walk away from this event and just leave it. Don’t leave without doing anything. So I spoke to my colleague and he was also very passionate about trafficking, so we thought about it together.

Dana Dickerson, a participant in the 10k race, said it was her first time attending the race and she enjoyed the atmosphere. She said there were speakers who gave powerful speeches about their own experiences of trafficking affecting loved ones and their recovery processes.

Dickerson said after the race there was a DJ and refreshments alongside a self-defense course and information booths.

She said something that struck her was that mural runners were encouraged to participate in the creation.

“There were a lot of people that you could tell came back every year,” Dickerson said. “They had this really cool mural where you dip your hand in the paint and then you touch the mural and every year when people go there they dip their hand in the paint and put it on the mural.”

Dickerson said what drew her to running was the power of the cause.

“There’s a lot going on in my neighborhood in Macomb that you hear about on a daily basis, you know, with trafficked children,” Dickerson said. “They’re attracting people so they’re just in your neighborhood and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, that house over there had what was going on? I have a daughter you’re worried about too. I thought this organization seemed to have a pretty good sense of community.

Laurie said it’s this sense of community that she hopes will become a driving force behind the cause.

“What we envision is working together with local businesses to become like a tsunami rolling through the state of Michigan to combat child trafficking,” Dickerson said. “We want to provide parents with information that helps them recognize that they need to protect their children from human trafficking and online predators.”

She said she hopes the high energy of the event matches the intensity of the cause and that its message spreads through the communities involved.

“For every person that comes to the event, it’s like dropping a pebble in water and seeing the ripple that comes out of it,” Laurie said. “I hope that when people leave, they will become that pebble that falls into the water and that they will shine with people they know and spread the message of education, because that is the key to ensuring the child safety.”

Laurie said one of the most important things to do in any situation where there is suspicion that there may be child trafficking or that they themselves are in danger is to call the 911 or the hotline: National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) 1-888-373-7888.

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