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Sunday July 20, 2014
‘Dancing with the Stars’ Actress Joins Child-Rescue Effort
Chelsie Hightower is Raising Money to Fund Non-Profit’s Next Mission
Actress Chelsie Hightower, best known for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” has a new role – ambassador for Operation Underground Railroad (OUR). The non-profit has rescued 67 child and adult sex-slave trafficking victims in overseas sting operations since its creation Jan. 1.
Hightower recently visited 28 children liberated earlier this year from a slave brokerage masquerading as an orphanage in Haiti. She and other members of OUR brought toys and other gifts to the therapeutic shelter where the children are recovering. The experience prompted her to issue a call for donors to fund the next OUR mission.
“There’s a case of 15 to 25 girls that’s ready to go,” she said in announcing her Team Chelsie drive to raise $25,000.
Hightower joins a coalition of about 100 volunteers, many of them the former CIA, U.S. Special Agents, Navy SEALs and Green Berets who conduct the undercover missions. OUR has rescued children in Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua and, in May, Colombia.
“Having worked with the U.S. government to dismantle human trafficking rings, I became frustrated by what I couldn’t do,” says CEO Tim Ballard, formerly with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. “Our government is largely hindered by bureaucracy and jurisdictional limitations. A nimbler entity that plays by the rules was needed, and that’s why OUR exists today.”
Special Guest: Chelsie Hightower
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