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"We're not immune to it," Harris said. "A lot of people think that you know, we're safe in our little Rexburg, Idaho town and in reality, it does happen here too. But, that being the case, it doesn't happen here as much as it does in a lot of other parts of the world. In order for Operation Underground Railroad to do what they do, they need money. So, by raising awareness, it encourages people to donate."

September 15, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen

Runners in southeast Idaho are gearing up to help "Break the Chain" of sex trafficking.

The race aims to raise awareness about the growing industry of sex trafficking and is sponspored by Operation Underground Railroad. The organization was started by former C.I.A. special agent Tim Ballard but has expanded to include several city chapters dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support the campaign to rescue children sold into the sex trafficking industry. 

"By raising awareness, we can raise funds," Carynn Harris, Volunteer Team Leader for the Rexburg Idaho Chapter of Operation Underground Railroad told BYU-Idaho Radio. 

Harris acknowledges most people who get involved with O.U.R. in Rexburg probably won't find themselves breaking down doors or flying to international countries to help with the sting operations conducted by the organization, but she says Southeast Idaho and particularly Rexburg, are not immune to the industry found in many foreign countries.

"We're not immune to it," Harris said. "A lot of people think that you know, we're safe in our little Rexburg, Idaho town and in reality, it does happen here too. But, that being the case, it doesn't happen here as much as it does in a lot of other parts of the world. In order for Operation Underground Railroad to do what they do, they need money. So, by raising awareness, it encourages people to donate." 

The race includes a 5K, 10K and a 1/2 marathon and will take place on September 23 at Smith Park in Rexburg, Idaho. Participants can register here.

Harris also says for those who don't want to run or can't run, the event is still in need of volunteers to aid the runners along the route. 

You can listen to the full interview below.