As Our Own is a nonprofit organization that works to bring freedom to young girls in India who are in danger of being trapped in human trafficking.
With a population of more than 1 billion, Inida has about 25.7 million orphans, one of the highest rates in the world. As Our Own reports Indian girls as young as age 7 forced into the sex trade.
Under the weight of such numbers, Zeta Chi organized what members thought would be a one-time fund-raising project for Christmas a year ago to help buy dresses for girls in an Indian orphanage. But that has turned into an ongoing concern for many of the DBU students.
"We realized how many girls in our group had a passion to end sex slavery," explained sorority President Hannah Wolfers. "We contacted As Our Own, and they were wonderful to welcome us to their team."
As a result, the sorority decided to make a concentrated effort to support this mission.
Last year, the young women handmade hair bows to send to the orphans, including encouraging notes and prayers with them. They also raised funds to support the educational and physical needs of the children.
This spring, Zeta Chi is sponsoring a campuswide coffee house to raise donations for As Our Own. The money raised will be given to sponsor two or three Zeta Chi members in the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in April, where they will be running for Parul, an orphaned 7-year-old girl in India who is being cared for by As Our Own ministries.
"Zeta Chi is passionate about supporting As Our Own because we realize that it is such a tender and significant subject that is being addressed," said Suzanne Erdely, coordinator of fund-raising efforts for Zeta Chi.
"Precious young children are being spared from the horrific life of human trafficking because of these efforts."
While these college students have not seen those they are helping, they have confidence they are making a difference in the lives of these children.
"It is difficult not directly witnessing the outcome of our endeavors," Erdely commented.
"But we have faith in God that he is allowing us to be a part of some intense and rewarding efforts."
Ultimately, the sorority sisters feel compelled to share the love of Jesus Christ with the children half a world away, knowing if the tables were turned, it would be their prayer someone would do the same for them.
"We believe God has a specific plan for each girl trapped in sex slavery," Wolfers said. "We know they are loved by their Father in heaven. We want them to feel that love … and through us, they are able to experience the unconditional and unending love of Christ."