LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The 13th annual “Run 4 Their Lives” event in Lynchburg is kicking off its virtual challenge on Thursday to raise awareness of human trafficking around the country.
According to organizers, Run 4 Their Lives Races are Freedom 4/24 events that started in 2009 to draw attention and money toward freeing sexually exploited women and children.
“In 2020, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported a four-fold increase in online child sexual exploitation from 2019. This is simply unacceptable,” Rachael Smith, Programs Manager, said. “We believe that April 24th can be a day where the Lynchburg community uses the Run 4 Their Lives 5K as a platform to raise awareness, become advocates, and educate themselves on the issues and prevalence of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and learn how they can actively prevent it.”
This year’s virtual challenge pushes you to run or walk one mile every day from Thursday, April 1 through Saturday, April 24 to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
Walkers and runners of all ages can also participate in a 5K run/walk at Liberty University on April 24. Organizers say anyone who raises $50 can participate for free.
“Local businesses, community leaders, volunteers, and individuals can join us through participating with us in-person, virtually, or even through fundraising to take their advocacy one step further. To end human trafficking, we have to prevent it,” organizers said in a statement in February. “We will run on April 24th so that exploitation is never a part of the story of the youth in our lives and in our community.”
To learn more, help raise funds, or register for the event, follow this link.