Former NFL football star Tim Tebow has devoted his life to helping the most vulnerable: orphans, people with special needs, babies in the womb and now victims of human trafficking.
The 34-year-old Christian athlete recently expanded the mission of his foundation to include providing safe housing for individuals rescued from human trafficking across the world, according to Fox News.
“It’s such a focus for me because we believe this is one of the greatest evils in the world today,” Tebow told Fox News Digital this week.
“Just put yourself in their shoes just for a second, and imagine living in fear every single day,” he continued. “Knowing that the people who were supposed to value you instead sold you. The people who were supposed to love you instead abused you. The people who were supposed to treasure you instead exploited you.”
Right now, Tebow and his foundation are raising money to build the TTF Protection Center in Thailand, a safe house that can serve up to 40 females rescued from human trafficking, according to Movieguide. The Tim Tebow Foundation is working with RAPHA International on the project.
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Security is critical in such facilities because human trafficking victims often receive death threats and have prices on their heads, Tebow explained. Many are too afraid to testify against their traffickers in court because the risks are so high, he said.
“The Thai government, Thai police have asked our partners in RAPHA International for a protection center because there are so many girls that had been rescued from trafficking,” Tebow said. Many “are still in danger with active threats, death threats and prices on their head, just so they can’t testify against their trafficker.”
He said traffickers are “capable of atrocious acts of evil to silence those speaking against them.”
For example, a 2014 study found that forced abortions are common among sex trafficking victims. In “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” researchers found that 55 percent of sex trafficking victims had at least one abortion, with more than half saying they were forced to abort one or more unborn babies.
Currently, Tebow said there are 15 girls waiting to be placed in a safe home in Thailand.
Here’s more from The Western Journal:
[Tebow] said his father once purchased four young girls overseas in order to give them their freedom.
“My dad was not going to be the man who did nothing. Had he just stood there silently, who knows where these girls would have been taken and what would have been done to them,” Tebow wrote.
Since then, TTF has helped thousands more.
Tebow said his foundation works in 67 countries, building hospitals, special needs orphanages and safe houses for human trafficking victims. His foundation also hosts the Night to Shine, a prom-like event for people with special needs.
Although Tebow loves sports, he said he believes charity work is his real calling.
“I would love to coach and love to support, build culture and love on student athletes, but I think it would be hard. I know if I did that, I would be so all-in, and it would really be hard to do some of the other things that I’m so passionate about as well,” he said.
Speaking to pro-lifers in 2020, Tebow said his pro-life work “really does mean a lot more than winning the Super Bowl. One day, when you look back and people are talking about you and they say Oh my gosh what are you going to be known for? Are you going to say Super Bowl, or we saved a lot of babies?”
In 2010, he and his mother, Pam, came into the national spotlight when they partnered with Focus on the Family to share their story in a Superbowl commercial. Millions of Americans saw the commercial, which received high praise from pro-life groups.
In the commercial, Pam Tebow explained that she rejected abortion after doctors told her that killing Tim was the only way to save her life. At the time, Pam and her husband were doing missions work in the Philippines. The Tebows said doctors described Tim as a “fetal tumor” and “mass of cells” that had to be removed. However, Tim’s mom refused the abortion, and both mother and son miraculously survived.