By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The stack of cutout hearts were covered in reassuring messages: “You are precious,” “We believe in you,” and “We love you” amongst others.
Given that Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, it would have been easy to assume that the hearts were meant for romantic interests, but the students who cut them out had a higher purpose in mind.
“I had no idea what human trafficking was and it was horrifying, I couldn’t understand how it was happening. It has to stop and that’s why I joined AWARE,” said McNary High School’s Carly Scott.
The hearts were going to be strung together as garland and offered to the women of Simoka Place Women and Children’s Shelter on River Road.
Scott and other students rallied to the cause of fighting human trafficking after teacher Tracy Rhoades began addressing the issue in her health classes. Showings of the documentary Sex+Money after school last spring brought even more students to the cause.
For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 22 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.