Each year, an estimated two million children across the world are trafficked into prostitution. University of the Cumberlands junior golfer Kelli Garvin has a passion to help lessen this statistic.
Garvin has joined forces with Destiny Rescue, a non-profit organization that, according to its website, rescues girls and young women who have been prostituted, and gives them a safe home, education, training and most importantly, love. The youngest girl they have rescued was five-years-old.
A member of the Cumberlands' golf team, Garvin hails from Boyd County in Kentucky and attends Main Street Baptist Church when she is on campus and Fairview Baptist Church when she is at home.
Garvin was unfortunately battling a knee injury for most of the 2010 fall season, but was able to participate in Cumberlands' own Bill Sergent Invitational at Crooked Creek Golf Club in London, KY. There she averaged a total of 87 for the two day 36 hole event.
Cumberlands Head Golf Coach Chris Kraftick commented on Kelli's willingness to serve others. "Kelli is a tremendously involved and aware young lady. She is also the kind of person who would neverconsider this type of outreach as special, but more doing her part. For a junior in college to look outside her world as a college student and try to make a difference in the lives of people is what makes Kelli so special."
Garvin first found out about Destiny Rescue a few summers ago at Icthus, a Christian music festival in Wilmore, Ky. "They had a booth set up, and I stopped to look at the jewelry and got some information," said Garvin. "I bought a bracelet and that kind of sparked my interest in the issue of childhood trafficking."
One way Destiny Rescue raises money is through the sale of jewelry. "Once the girls are rescued, they make the jewelry themselves. They aren't forced to make it, but they have the opportunity to do it to raise money to help start a life for themselves," Garvin said. Volunteers then sell the jewelry and all of the money is sent directly back to the girls.
After researching on Destiny Rescue's website, Garvin knew she wanted to become involved. "Online, they offer the option of having jewelry parties, which is just a onetime thing, but I wanted to get more fully involved with this ministry," she explained. Garvin quickly discovered that her friend, Allison Swarts, also had a passion for helping the abused women, and together they decided to get involved with Destiny Rescue.
The young women emailed the organization, explaining their desire to help. They also pointed out that since they had friends in a band, they would be able to set up a booth at concerts to reach a wider group of people. "We got an email back, and they were very enthused about us selling the jewelry," Garvin said. A few weeks later the girls received a box of jewelry in the mail.
In just three weeks, Garvin has sold $1,200 worth of jewelry just around campus and at various events including the recent Todd Agnew and Pocket Full of Rocks concert, which was sponsored by Cumberlands' Baptist Campus Ministries. That is an impressive amount of money, considering that the bracelets, necklaces, earrings and headbands are reasonably priced ranging from $5-$25.
"They are so aimed at helping the girls," Garvin said. Each piece of jewelry has its own unique name. The names are of girls who have been rescued.
"God has placed a passion on my heart for this issue, and just wanting to help girls in general," Garvin explained. "I've had a love for non-profits for a while, and would love to work closely with one in the future, and maybe start my own one day."
For more information on how to get involved with Destiny Rescue, visit their website at http://www.destinyrescue.org/. To help Garvin in her attempt to raise money for Destiny Rescue email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the golf program and Patriot athletics visit http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com/.