People Walk to Raise Awareness for Human Trafficking

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COLUMBIA - Despite Sunday's thunderstorms, people put on their walking and running shoes to participate in The Freedom Walk at Stephens Lake Park.

Christian Chapel Church hosted the 5K to raise awareness to fight modern day slavery. Half of the proceeds raised go to The Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, and the other half goes to F.R.E.E. International.

The money raised goes to assisting survivors of human trafficking and helping pay for necessities such as housing, utility bills, phone service and other basic needs.

"It's definitely happening here in Columbia and our surrounding communities," Christian Chapel Church Compassion Director Stephanie Gilliam said. "The Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition does provide direct services to victims, and we provided services to victims right here in our county."

F.R.E.E. International is based out of Las Vegas but owns land in Springfield, Mo. where the organization is currently building a safe house for women and children.