When Chris Judd married Jana, a songwriter and human trafficking activist, he learned more about her passion and reasons to fight the injustice.
“She would be reading something and sharing statistics with me,” Chris says. “And I’m saying, ‘This is unbelievable, this shouldn’t be happening.’ The more I was educated, the more I thought we should do something about it.”
Then while watching a US Civil War documentary, Chris realized our nation’s principles were founded upon the belief of people who fought slavery even though it seemed like a daunting issue no one could do anything about.
“My eyes opened,” he says. “It gave me hope that [fighting] sexual exploitation is not an impossible thing, and we can see it come to an end in our generation.”
The Spark of an Idea
Chris and Jana wanted to do something, and the idea of the fundraiser came from a silly disagreement between the two.
“I wanted to grow out my beard, and soon I had a lot of people who were supportive of the idea,” he says. “They began telling me, ‘I’ll give you $20 bucks to grow that thing’ or ‘I’ll give you $50 bucks to cut it off.’”
“It’s a weird thing that a lot of people responded to,” he says laughing. And it snowballed into something else.
In the beginning of this month, Chris and Jana set up separate fundraising pages in a race to see who can raise the most money for Project Rescue, an organization helping victims of sexual slavery.
If Chris wins, he gets to keep his beard. But if Jana wins, he’s agreed to shave it off.
Taking It a Step Further
Seeing the overwhelming response to their “pro and con beard fundraisers,” Chris and Jana are working to increase the scale of the competition for next time.
“Were in the process of creating a website that will encourage guys to grow out their beards to support the fight against human trafficking,” Chris says.
Both Chris and Jana are friends with the president of Project Rescue, who has been supportive of their fundraiser and wishes to see it grow into a community-wide event where others can become involved.
“Going forward, there’s a potential for it to be bigger than just my beard. It will be cool to see others get involved,” says Chris.
Pick a Side to Support!
The competition ends next Tuesday, July 31st and so far, Jana is winning! You can have a say in the future of Chris’ beard by picking a side and donating before the competition is over.
To help Chris protect his beard from the awful scissors, donate on this page.
To support Jana’s determination to shave the dreadful thing, donate on this page.
Your donation, on either page, will go to support Project Rescue’s mission to save victims from human trafficking.