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Impacting the World

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Impacting the World

Sophomores Elizabeth Kendall, Chloe Henderson, and freshman Elyse Baron model their new "We are Mercy" T-shirts.

Kellie Brue, Staff Reporter

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Human trafficking is the sale, transport and profit from human beings who are forced to work for others.  This affects 1.8 billion women and children each year, and over half of the children are under the age of 8.  These girls, no different from beautiful, bright Mercy today, will have a limited childhood.  As early as the age of 4, girls will be sold for their bodies into the sex slavery market.  In fact, most of these girls are sold into the market by a member of their own family.

The Mercy Girl Effect is a movement inspired by 14 Mercy schools who come together each year to address a particular problem.  This year, the Mercy schools coalition decided to take on a very heartbreaking, controversial issue: human trafficking.

“This really touches me to my core,” said librarian Cheryl Corte.  “The statistics blow me away and it’s awful to think it’s an industry.”

Sex trafficking, the third largest profit market in the world, generates $9.5 billion annually and is modern-day slavery.  Girls are kidnapped, beaten, raped, and sometimes killed.

Four student leaders attended a student leadership training program this summer and organized a presentation to bring awareness to the entire student body on the subject.  A moving video showed students the horrors of human trafficking and the poor, helpless girls forced into it.  The presentation concluded with a call to action.  Student leaders urged us to help those girls who cannot even rely on their family.  It is our job, as Mercy, as sisters, as women, to help those who struggle and are defenseless.

“The video made me aware of the horrible problems that many girls younger than me are facing every day,” said junior Elizabeth Jenkins.

One student leader, senior Alexandra Babcock, felt blessed to be a part of the training program.

“The experience was very rewarding and it showed me how to be a leader with Mercy values in mind,” said Babcock.

Talking about issues brings awareness to people, but acting on those issues is how people bring about change and make a difference.  Mercy and the student leaders developed an innovative way to collect money to help the trafficked children.

“The student leaders had the hope of rising funds to contribute to the ‘Safe Houses’ in six different locations globally and Vista Maria that assists in rescuing or at least providing safety to victims of sex trafficking,” said assistant principal Will Gervais.

“We are Mercy.”  Yes, that is a fact, but it is also what is emblazoned on the front of the yellow and maroon shirts that will help save many young girls’ lives.  By selling two shirts to each student for $20 altogether, Mercy will collect thousands of dollars to send to the safe houses that protect the young girls.  Students revel in the fact that their money will help girls just like them, or their younger sisters.

“I applaud the leaders and their efforts, but I hope it’s not just an attempt to raise funds,’ said Mrs. Corte.  “I hope those who are passionate about this cause will fully and wholeheartedly embrace it.”

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Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan
Impacting the World