I get the incredible privilege in my life of being free: free to speak, dance, eat out, act like a: um, jerk, you name it. As a part of this freedom, I get the inordinate privilege of speaking publicly professionally. In that context, I get to encourage others to live life in pursuit of greatness: to set audacious goals and go after pursuits that would carry them far past the "do-able" existence of mediocrity. The thought of inspiring others to do this, while not pursuing my own "dare-to-be-great" type of life is nauseating to say the least. So here is the great thing that I plan to go after in 2014:
I am joining up with my good friend from Cali, Dug Shelby (hiker of the entire pacific west coast from Mexico to Canada, and cyclist of the entire continental US from Cali to Florida) to do the National Three Peaks Challenge in the UK (click here for more info) this October. This challenge involves hiking the highest mountains in Scotland, England, and Wales: all within 24 hours. Here's the best part about Dug's adventure journeys and why I am excited to join in: He does them all through the work of his very own Oasis Projekt (oasisprojekt.org) a non-profit organization dedicated to aid, (through funds and awareness), victims of human trafficking.
Human Trafficking is an issue that has been near to Shaula and I's hearts for many years, but our fervor to fight on behalf of these victims grew during the years we lived in Las Vegas. But it's not just an issue in Nevada. Trafficking exists at alarming levels in all 50 states. The average girl taken into sex slavery in the US is between the ages of 12 and 17. These girls are forced to have sex on average anywhere between 20 and 48 times a day. I know, you want to stop reading, but please don't. I understand that this is so prolifically evil that you would much rather wish you didn't know. But therein lies the problem. It's so debased that we can't stomach it. And so it isn't discussed: and it isn't lobbied for near enough.
So I've decided to use my freedom to help others obtain theirs. And here's something else that gets me excited about this: my daughter, Laney, is joining me for the adventure. Laney is 15 (and will turn 16 while we train for the Challenge), right in the heart of the average age range of a girl taken into sexual slavery. I couldn't be more proud of Laney's willingness and exuberance to take this challenge and this issue head on.
So, what does this mean? Well, it means that in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead, we'll be training like mad and telling anyone and everyone about our quest. We will occasionally use humor, because such a heavy issue calls for a little levity every now and then (not to mention, we are ridiculously zany).
Additionally, we will update you, (if you care to follow along), on our progress while giving you data and insights as to what we are fighting for and how we plan to fight for it. In fact, we will attempt to raise your (and anyone else's that we can) awareness of this great need. And in order to do this, we are asking for your help.
Please help us reach our goal of raising 50K. This money will go directly to combating human trafficking and assisting the victims. So, whether you give $1 or thousands of $'s, please know that everything helps for that one woman, that one young girl. And there's no price you can put on that.
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