So often I get caught up in my love and awareness for the nations that I forget about the needs of my own city. Working for Global and Local outreach has heightened my sense of awareness for the needs of others more than I could have ever expected. Even though I work with Local Outreach as well and get to hear about all the AMAZING ways that we are serving the community I can't say that it encourages me to take action personally, which I am totally embarassed to admit, but it's true. Last year I organized a group of college kids to participate in the Hike for the Homeless that benefitted St. Joseph the worker that helped people who are homeless get jobs but still, I can't say that serving the community is on my mind daily like serving the nations is.
Anyways, I talk alot about the awesome things that Central is doing to serve both the community and world and this is another great thing I'd like to share.
Every year Central chooses an organization to help by donating our Christmas Eve service offering to. Last year we helped with the AIDS crisis and getting clean water in Africa.
This year Central has chosen a cause a little closer to home; Streetlight Phx.
Streetlight Phx was created to help stop child prostitution in Phoenix. Phoenix is now the #1 city in the nation for Sex Trafficking, including Child Prostitution, more accurately described as Child Rape for Profit. On any given night there are 300 children, average age 13, forced to prostitute themselves for the benefit of their “owners.” Between 100,000 and 300,000 children in America are at risk for sex trafficking each year. As many as 2.8 million children live on the streets, a third of whom are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. The majority of American victims of commercial sexual exploitation tend to be runaway or thrown away youth who live on the streets who become victims of prostitution. These children generally come from homes where they have been abused, or from families that have abandoned them. A Fundraising Campaign involving as many as 25 churches (Central being one of them) is underway to purchase a secured facility to care and house rescued teens form the sex trade. This group of churches is charging forward to do their part in ending the rape of children for profit in Phoenix and surrounding cities. Six large residential homes will house up to 40 girls. This house will be where the girls first go after they are taken off the streets. This house will be a safe place for them to heal and be restored.
Christmas is still a couple months off but there is plenty to do right not. Whether you can 5 minutes or 5 hours, you can take action against child prostitution right now. What are you going to do about it?
For more information on Project Streetlight Phx please visit: http://www.streetlightphx.com/.