[weaver_youtube bCToqWZ560s rel=0] (Video provided)
In the last few weeks, a phenomenon called the Cold Water Challenge has been sweeping the community and students at Grace College. Individuals post a video of themselves on social media of them jumping into a body of water and “call out” several of their friends to do the same, or donate money to a charity.
Though the charity and the amount varies, (a popular version of the challenge was to jump into cold water or donate $100 to a charity) the concept is the same. The project has spread virally and hundreds of people have jumped into lakes, streams, and swimming pools as a part of the challenge.
Ben Hutton, a student at Grace College, decided to make the challenge into something more. In the face of some complaints that the challenge involves jumping into cold water to avoid donating to charity, Hutton instead combined the best of the two options – he called out his entire Grace boys dorm, Town House, saying that if 80 percent of the dorm residents jumped in the lake, he would personally donate $100 to Destiny Rescue, an organization that works to end child sex slavery.
Hutton encouraged other people to match his donations and on May 5, Hutton posted another video in which 80 percent of the total residents in Town House dorm jumped in the lake – and announcing that so far, over $500 had been raised for Destiny Rescue and encouraging people to keep donating. The current total is over $1,000, still short of their goal of $1,500 (the average cost of freeing one child from sex trafficking and getting them into a safe home) which they hope to attain by Thursday, May 8.
In a culture where “doing something” about sex trafficking is often criticized, Hutton found a unique way to mobilize the community and the young men around him to action regarding this desperate need in today’s culture.