In 2010, Gianni and Betsey found themselves at a crossroads. They were both working corporate jobs, striving to secure a rhythm in schedule as we prepared to start a family. Gianni’s job required four or five trips to China each year and for him, this is where it all started. One evening, after a long day of meetings and factory visits, out of respect his colleagues planned a Chinese cultural experience for the US team. The evening included dinner, foot massages, and karaoke (female companion included). Four young girls ran the private karaoke room as if they had been entertaining gentlemen for years…they probably had. But Gianni could see it in their eyes. A cry for rescue. Immediately, Gianni was confronted with a decision at the end of the night. Either take his escort back to his hotel room or leave the young girl to the fate of the sex for sale industry. Neither seemed like an option.
Betsey’s story began during a dream she had in 2004. In the dream, she saw herself sitting next to God in heaven. From the right side of the room, a man wheeled in an old circus cage on wheels. It looked a lot like the lion cages on those old boxes of animal crackers she used to love as a kid. God looked over at her, pointed and said, “Set Them Free.” She walked down the steps from where they were sitting and saw that the animals she expected to be in the cage weren’t animals at all. Four little girls dressed in mini skirts, fish net tights, and halter-tops looked out at me in terror. Their faces were painted with bright, tacky makeup to hide their scars. Saddened, she reached for the cage door to set them free and discovered that there was no lock! These girls were free indeed!
Together, Gianni and Betsey were at a crossroads. Their small monthly donation to their favorite NGO just wasn’t cutting it. They HAD to do more. They HAD to see rescue, healing, and justice brought to the little girl who is held captive on that dirty mattress. “There’s really nothing special about us. We’re probably a lot like you. Real people who are passionate about seeing children be children”, shares Betsey. They love to meet new people over a good burger (and Betsey will probably use a coupon for it). They have a good time rock crawling, hiking, and hosting BBQs and in the midst of it all they live to see justice for the oppressed, especially when it’s a child.