Idaho Native Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking With Cross Country Bike Trek

by

Andrew Wallace
  • Andrew Wallace

Andrew Wallace always wanted to bike across America.

“I thought it would be cool to actually have it mean something and not do it just because," he told Boise Weekly.

Wallace said his 4,267 mile bike ride, as part of the Win Love campaign, will allow him to spread awareness about a critical issue that many people don't know about: human trafficking.

"This is something I can do about it," he told BW. "I feel alive when I ride, and I think that sense of adventure resonates and motivates people to get involved.”

Beginning Thursday, Aug. 22, Wallace—an Idaho native—will lead his team of three from Cape Flattery Trail in Washington State with hopes of arriving in Virginia within a couple of months.

Before he takes off, though, Wallace's supporters—including the Idaho Coalition for Justice—will be holding a "farewell" party for him in Boise's Memorial Park on Friday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m.

“They’re planning on making a documentary to share back in Boise in a few months," said the coalition's president Kim Peake. "They really just want to highlight the issue, bring awareness and see people stand up to find a solution to end it.”

According to Peake, the National Human Trafficking Hotline [1-888-373-7888] is connected to local resources across the country, so people can report issues wherever they are. The occurrence of human trafficking, Peake said, is not all that uncommon.

“At least 100,000 to 300,000 people are trafficked throughout our country every year,” she said.

Although, Idaho hasn’t seen any human trafficking cases recently, the Idaho Coalition for Justice isn’t ruling out that it never happens in the Gem State.

“A lot of people still don’t realize it happens in the U.S. to any large degree," said Peake. "There’s a lot of awareness of it happening elsewhere. In the United States, It happens in many different kinds of situations. It can happen on a large, organized crime scale, or it can happen on a very small scale.”

Meanwhile, the Idaho coalition fully supports Wallace's cross-country trek.

“[Andrew] loves to ride his bike, and he feels that’s something he can do to bring awareness to the issue, as well as to be part of the solution,” said Peake.