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Area churches sponsoring Highland County ‘Rescue Weekend’

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Rescue Weekend, April 20-21, is an event being planned by the churches of Highland County. The weekend has a full agenda of activities designed to raise awareness and funds towards rescuing children from human trafficking. 

Over $99 billion dollars is generated by the sex trafficking industry each year; that’s $11 million an hour. It is the second-largest criminal industry in the world and expected to surpass drug trafficking within the next 10 years. 

According to the District of Columbia Attorney General, half of the world’s human trafficking victims are children, and the average age that a young person becomes involved in sex trafficking is only 12 years of age. That equates to over a million children being sexually exploited worldwide. 

Upon seeing such a dark issue taking place on a worldwide scale, many people wonder: “What can be done? Can anything I do really make a difference?” The answer is yes, you can be a light in the darkness — you can make a difference.

Local business sponsors, individuals and churches are coming together to support this paramount cause. All proceeds from the event go directly to Destiny Rescue, a Christian-based nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing kids around the world from exploitation. 

April 20 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Liberty Park in Hillsboro is the Rescue Run 5k/1k & Family Fun Day. There will be a 5k run/1k walk, cornhole tournament and free family fun, such as inflatables, games, face painting, photo booth and music. There will also be food trucks present: Tater Patch BBQ, Irvin Shaved Ice and Four Stools Coffee Bar. A silent auction for the event begins on Facebook on April 15 and concludes in-person at the 5k Family Fun Day. 

April 21 is Rescue Sunday, a joint community Sunday service from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Leesburg Firehouse. There will be worship music and a children’s service. Both days of the event will feature a guest speaker from the Destiny Rescue US headquarters in Fort Wayne, Ind.

What does Destiny Rescue do? Destiny Rescue works to rescue kids by way of three main methods: raids, covert operations and border rescues. Their agents work with local law enforcement to find & free children then arrest traffickers. Their undercover agents find & offer freedom to children trapped in the sex industry. Female agents monitor hot spots & intercept victims being trafficked across borders. 

After kids are rescued, each child is given a “Path to Freedom” plan — an individualized plan for their future and the assistance needed to achieve it. The plan often includes things like educational and vocational training, emotional and physical health care, financial assistance, safe employment, and spiritual growth. They also do trafficking prevention and education in the US and abroad. 

Destiny Rescue has observed that the average cost to rescue a child from sex trafficking is $1,500. The goal of Rescue Weekend is to rescue at least 20 kids from this nightmare.

For more information on Rescue Weekend, registration forms, or if your business would like to get become a sponsor for the event (silent auction item or financial), visit the Facebook page “2024 Rescue Weekend” or email

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