Winchester teen donates Christmas money to fight human trafficking
WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Winchester teenager’s private, unselfish act of Christmas kindness has gone very public, even global, bringing attention to the world’s fastest growing crime: human trafficking of children.
There was only one thing on 15-year-old Olivia Durphy’s christmas list this year and it was not gift wrapped with a bow.
“I’m so blessed I don’t need anything and there are so many people, brothers and sisters of mine through Christ, who need stuff so much more than me,” she said.
So this year, she asked her mom to take the money she would use to buy her gifts and give it all to ‘Buy a tree. Change a life,’ a non-profit helping children around the world, through an annual Christmas tree sale.
“My limit for the kids for their Christmas was $500. I actually gave $750,” Jessica, Durphy’s mom said.
The organization saves kids in third world countries from becoming victims of the lucrative sex trafficking trade. It gives them a home, food, education, a future.
“They are more or less purchasing these kids and putting them in an orphanage,” Durphy said.
Yes, the non-profit uses donated money to buy the children before the sex traffickers do.
“Hearing about it and hearing that these young girls and boys my age, even younger, are in this, it breaks my heart, because like i said, they’re brothers and sisters of mine through Christ and no one should be going through that, no one,” Olivia said.
Olivia didn’t want or expect anything in return, but when she opened her only present Christmas morning, she was stunned.
“‘How are you sister, for me i am really fine,'” she read aloud.
Her present came in the form of letters, from six orphaned girls in Cambodia.
“‘Through your kindness i have a chance to study in a good school. have enough food to eat and a place to live,'” Olivia continued to read from the letters.
“Watching her open the box and the pictures, you saw the emotion took over and it was beautfiul, it was a beautiful thing to see,” Olivia’s mom said.
“These letters were specifically written to me. That I helped make a difference in their life. Six girls my age were impacted through a decision that God told me to do and i followed through with it,” Olivia said.
She calls it the best gift and Christmas yet.
“They love me for helping them and it just touches me, I don’t know, I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said.
Her mom posted the pictures of Olivia seeing the handwritten letters to Facebook and the post has gone viral.
The founder of the non-profit contacted Jessica after seeing the post and is now flying them out to meet the girls who wrote the letters, in February.