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Lighthouse for Life fundraising event in fall

Posted: August 11, 2015 5:26 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2015 1:00 a.m.

This fall, non-profit organization Lighthouse for Life will host its first fundraiser in Lugoff. The event is set for Oct. 11 at Lugoff Ford from 1 to 5 p.m. Lighthouse for Life is based in Columbia and works to combat sex trafficking in the state through education, empowerment and restoration.

“We hope to have performances, food trucks, rides and a car you can win. There will be a silent auction, it will be a festival or carnival; we hope to make this an annual event,” Lighthouse for Life founder Andrea Wind said.

Wind began Lighthouse for Life two years ago after feeling called to do so.

“It was just a passion and burden God placed on my heart … through a sermon. One of the lieutenants from the Richland County Sherriff office shared a (sex trafficking) case that was heavy on my heart. It was in that sermon I felt God prompting me that I should be doing something. After that, information just kept coming to me. I kept getting things in my email. I would turn on TV and see documentaries about it,” Wind recalled.

Wind says safe houses for sex trafficking victims are desperately needed in South Carolina. While doing research on the subject, Wind discovered there were none in the state.

“It broke my heart. There are 300,000 children a year being sold in this trade and I came across a statistic that showed the different facilities for trafficking victims -- there were 100 beds in all of the United States. When I started digging in South Carolina, there was nothing. We’ve got to get a home open and it needs to be one of our first priorities. Law enforcement rescues the victims and have no place to send them,” Wind said.

Wind anticipated Lighthouse for Life’s first safe house will open this fall. 

“It will be a home for minor girls under the age of 18. It will be a long term shelter. I would love for them to commit to a year. We want to show them they are worth so much more than they think,” Wind said

Wind hopes community events like the one this fall will also raise awareness.

“A part of education is getting awareness out to our community. So many people have no idea it is going on so close,” Wind said. “We really want to empower the people we speak to, to help them to realize they may be one person but they have a voice and talent and they can help to fight this. Years ago, I knew about it but I didn’t know it was happening in our city. I felt I couldn’t do anything as one person but I realized that is not the case … and when a whole bunch of people get together, we can really make a difference.”

To learn more about Lighthouse for Life, visit the website at www.lighthouseforlife.org.

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