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Benefit concert to support local restoration program

Restore Her seeks to raise awareness for Human Trafficking

Published: Sunday, January 26, 2014

Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 23:01

A benefit concert will be held Thursday in Rudder Auditorium to help raise money for Restore Her — a program of Still Creek Ranch, a local boys and girls home.

Jennifer Terry, Restore Her program director, is organizing the event to raise awareness about not just the program, but also the human sex trafficking that happens around the world and close to home.

“The purpose is to raise awareness because January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so it’s primarily to raise awareness of human trafficking,” Terry said. “Also it is to benefit Restore Her, which is a ministry of Still Creek Ranch, and to bring awareness to what Restore Her is doing to fight and end human trafficking locally.”

For a year and a half, Restore Her has been housing female minors who have been trafficked in the United States. Terry called it a long-term restoration program.

“We can house them and provide for them until graduation and we can also help them integrate into college and get them all the way through college,” Terry said. “When they graduate from our Christian Academy, they will get a free two-year scholarship to Blinn College.”

Still Creek Ranch has been operating locally for the past 25 years, retrieving human trafficking victims and helping them get back their lives. Current executive directors Steve and Tracy Singleton founded the Restore Her program to help girls in particular.

Still Creek Ranch features an accredited K-12 Christian academy on site, with a state-of-the-art arena, top equestrian program, agriculture program, credit recovery and athletics. The Ranch has plans to expand and is building a third home.

Katy Cooney, junior psychology major, is the service chair for her sorority Chi Omega, and has been working with Still Creek Ranch since the spring of her freshman year.

“After I went out to the ranch the first time, I was hooked,” Cooney said. “I fell so in love with the girls because of the mentor program we have between Chi Omega and Still Creek Ranch.”

Cooney said most people don’t realize that most of the girls in the program are from Houston, only an hour and a half away from College Station.

Cooney and her sorority have been working with the Christian anti-trafficking organization at A&M, FREE, to help with advertising and banners for the concert.

Morgan Sumlin, senior communication major and executive of FREE said she is excited to attend the event and listen to the speakers, two girls from the Restore Her program.

“I’ve never heard a girl in real life telling about her experiences,” Sumlin said. “I want to go and hear their stories. Also, some of the girls from the program will be working at the event and I want to interact and share with those girls the love we have for them.”

One of the speakers, Kayla, who requested that her surname be dropped for privacy reasons, said she hopes that people attending the concert would not leave the event feeling sorry for her and the other girls in the program, but instead, find hope in her experiences.

“I’m sharing how God allowed me to go through fire and come out of it loving Him,” Kayla said. “God chose me to go through this and picked me up and loved me, and I want people to know that God puts them in certain situations for a reason and to show how much he loves them.”

The concert will be at 7 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium with doors open at 6:30 p.m. Bestselling Christian artist, All Sons and Daughters, will headline the show. Tickets are free for college students, $20 for adults. Tickets can be reserved online at restoreher.eventbrite.com.

 

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