A Bible study has inspired a local woman to organize a fundraiser to help fight slavery in the 21st century. The event is called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and participants will walk a mile in high heels to show support for women in captivity. It will take place at the Steelville Community Park on May 17 at 1 p.m. Participants will raise funds through petitions, asking for donations to support them as they walk for this cause.
Tabatha Payne, who attends Steelville First Assembly of God Church, recently led a women's Bible study called “Undaunted” by Christine Caine. Caine founded the A21 campaign, which works to abolish slavery in the 21st century.
“One of the last few weeks of the Bible study, our homework was to do a web search on sites such as www.thea21campaign.org,” Payne said. “I was amazed to see there are 27,000,000 people in slavery today. The average age is 12 years old and keeps getting younger. On the A21 site, there were 21 ways to help. One of the ways that really stood out to me was called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. I felt like God wanted me to put this petition-type fundraiser together.”
While leading the Bible Study, Payne noted that a guest speaker also spoke at her church and talked about how sex-trafficking is a problem right here in Missouri, not just around the nation or around the world.
“I want to raise awareness and funds to help end sex-trafficking,” Payne said. “We plan to raise awareness through social media like Facebook, a story in the paper, and collecting petitions for the event. I do not want the glory for this event. God deserves all the glory. I am just willing to do what he's called me to do. One of the biggest things I got out of the Bible study is this: The Good Samaritan didn't have compassion because he saw a person in need and felt sad for them, he had compassion because he crossed the street to help. I want to cross the street to help, and I am hoping and praying that many others will cross the street with me.”
Before the event, participants will tell others why they are doing this, and ask for donations to support their mile-long walk in high heels. Funds raised from this portion of the event will go for the A21 campaign. However, to address local issues in Missouri, there will also be a concession stand selling hotdogs, chips, soda, and water. The money raised from concessions will go to local organizations such as The Oasis and Hannah's House. Organizers are also taking donations for the concession stand. It will open at noon.