Westport family plans “virtual” 5k 130 miles away

Donald Ross and his family will be walking to help protect innocent kids from human trafficking on Saturday, May 11. But instead of trekking five kilometers alongside the 2,000+ participants expected at the Free Them 5k/10k in Seattle that morning, they’ll be supporting the cause from 130 miles away in their coastal hometown of Westport.

Donald and his wife Debbie felt compelled to join the fight against human trafficking when they heard about World Concern’s Free Them 5k/10k on Spirit 105.3, which they stream via cable out on the coast.

Donald Ross and family
Donald and Debbie Ross, along with their 3 kids, will walk the Free Them 5k in their hometown of Westport, Wash. on Saturday, May 11.

“I have three kids—two teenage daughters. Something resonated with me. I thought, this is something I have to do,” said Donald. “[Trafficked] kids—they’re all somebody’s kids.”

Because they weren’t going to be in Seattle in May, Donald figured they’d take part in the event next year. When he went online to make a donation for this year, he saw the “Virtual” 5k option. A light bulb went on and he realized his family could register, fundraise, and still make a difference this year by walking near their home.

In hopes of getting others in their area involved, Donald secured the high school track the morning of the event, and asked Westport’s mayor, Michael Bruce, to officially start the race at 9:30 a.m. The Ross family, and others who join them, will run or walk “in spirit” alongside participants in Seattle.

Donald encourages anyone in the Westport, Ocean Shores, Grayland, Aberdeen, Hoqiuam or Raymond area to join them on Saturday, May 11 to take a stand against human trafficking.

Register as a “virtual” participant to join the Westport team, or to walk/run any time or place you choose. In doing so, you’ll help protect innocent women and children from the danger of human trafficking.

Join 1,000+ runners in the “Free Them” 5k

Carrie Yu and her children.
Seattle mom, Carrie Yu, is doing her part to help protect children from trafficking by running in the "Free Them" 5k.

As the mom of two toddlers, Seattle resident Carrie Yu is sickened by statistics and stories of children being trafficked into the sex trade in places like Cambodia and Thailand.  So when she heard about the “Free Them” 5k Run/Walk to stop human trafficking, she was excited to find a tangible way she could do something to help.

“As a parent, it’s heart-breaking to think about. I can’t imagine having to make the decision to sell a child into slavery in order to survive,” said Carrie. “I can’t go into the mission field, but I can run for this cause. I can raise money. This is something I can do right now where I am in my life.”

Carrie will join more than 1,000 other runners and walkers in the “Free Them” 5k tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, at World Concern’s headquarters in Seattle. In addition to raising funds for child trafficking prevention and rescue programs, the event raises awareness about this horrific crime. More than 1 million children are trafficked each day around the world – some into prostitution; others into forced labor. The average age is just 12 years old.

“Human trafficking is something we don’t talk about much here, but we need to speak up. This is not right,” said Carrie.

You can do something too. Come out and join us at the race tomorrow morning! Register online at www.worldconcern.org/5k or in person at the event, beginning at 8:30 a.m. World Concern’s headquarters is located on the CRISTA Ministries campus at 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, Washington.

See you there!