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Event to help human trafficking survivors in the Borderland

This weekend, two Borderland groups are asking you to participate in a 5K Run or 1 mile Fun Walk to help the victims of human trafficking.

This weekend, two Borderland groups are asking you to participate in a 5K run or 1 mile fun walk to help the victims of human trafficking.

Paso Del Norte Center of Hope and El Paso Center for Children are putting on the fundraiser. Both groups are helping survivors of human trafficking in the Borderland.

That’s something that Elke Cumming of Paso Del Norte says goes unnoticed in our area. “Human trafficking is a topic that scares a lot of people,” she said, “Especially parents in our community who would prefer to say that it doesn’t exist.”

Cumming says that’s why their program exists, helping “folks who are being forced, coerced, and threatened into doing things that they would absolutely not choose to do,” including both adults and children.

They work alongside law enforcement and child care providers to help the survivors of sex and labor trafficking from a legal, counseling and case management standpoint.

Cumming says that, "A lot of children are losing their childhood as a result of it, and the folks we see at the center are the ones who have spent their lives trying to get out of this life.”

The El Paso Center for Children will also benefit from money raised this weekend. It works specifically with child victims, and representatives say starting the conversation in the Borderland is just as important as raising funds.

Eric Baray of the Center for Children says they “want people to recognize what it is and help raise funds for those programs that support those survivors.”

The Center for Children says they place young fosters into specialized foster care and this race helps fund that, but they’re also seeking help from Borderland families.

Baray says, "We’re looking for families that are willing to open up their hearts and homes to provide a normal life for these young individuals that are coming from this very unfortunate lifestyle.”

He concluded, “We’re trying to give them a sense of normalcy and them to live a normal life as a child.”

The fundraiser will take place at 8 a.m. this Sunday at Memorial Park.

It will cost $25 a runner if you register here before the end of the day on Friday, or $30 if you register at Sunday’s event.

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