A few weeks ago we held a fundraising event during our kickoff game against the Redskins. It was a fan-base competition to see whose fans could raise the most money and commit more Freedom Partners to join International Justice Mission in its fight against human trafficking.
Though I believe the Redskins were able to raise one more Partner than we were, it was an incredible time. We may not have hit our exact financial goal, but the stories that came back from both NFL players and IJM team members displayed extreme support and unity toward this mission. It showed how hard and effectively people can work together when they’re focused on one really important goal. I’m appreciative of all the support and coalition I experienced from both my own teammates and many players on the Redskins, who all had the same heart for this issue. We were extremely thankful for all the fans who teamed up with us as well.
While our mission for this event was to raise a certain amount of money for the cause, that wasn’t our only goal. Financially supporting this fight for justice makes a huge impact, but it also creates awareness that will continue to spread as more people begin to take notice. By contributing to the cause, our fans showcased what’s truly important and I’m so grateful for that. Telling the world why you’re giving and who you’re partnering with can actually be much more important than the tangible gift itself.
We are truly believing and expecting a great change through this effort, not only within the sex trafficking world, but also in our community here in the NFL. What we’re doing has raised a lot of questions within our organization and fanbase. We saw a lot of people come forward who were eager to know more about what we’re pouring our time and energy into. A few of our coaches and other staff members in the facility were seeking answers, which was really encouraging! I was also contacted by another ministry in the fight against sex trafficking. They asked me to be part of a gala in San Diego to raise money for the cause. I happily agreed to have a player experience with me auctioned off in order to raise the funds. These opportunities are opening the door to continue working toward a world of freedom for everyone.
Any chance I have to speak out about what’s important to me is an opportunity for me to express my faith and bring the focus back to the Lord. He is why I have a heart to help others. The fact that people ask me why I do what I do and why I care about these issues is a huge blessing to me because I then have the chance to show them a piece of Christ’s love. And I will continue to do this with every opportunity that comes my way.
— Trey Burton
Trey Burton is a tight end with the Eagles and a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
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