TULSA, Okla. — 2 News Oklahoma is learning more about an organization that helped turn a Grove football player's life around.
Touch A Life helped Emmanuel Crawford when they found him enslaved in Ghana.
Cofounder Randy Cope says they're caring for children who are trafficked or exploited.
“We realized it was much more than getting them off the lake — they needed to be safe," Cope says.
“We needed to go through the process of healing them and then really launching them back out into the world.”
Cope and his wife Pam founded Touch A Life after their 15-year-old son Jansten died unexpectedly in 1999.
They raised money in his honor and sought out ways to help children in need, starting work in Vietnam then moving toward west Africa after reading about the children sold into slavery and forced to work Lake Volta.
"Our goal is for them to remain in Ghana in their homeland and to grow up and to give back to the communities and to make the change in Ghana," Pam Cope says.
The Touch A Life Care Center is a long term facility that serves 115 children, 37 of whom are in college.
They provide education, art healing, food, medical care, shelter, and clothing for a healthy holistic life.
"They come to our program and their eyes are just hollow," Cope says.
"They're so traumatic. Oftentimes, within a week or two weeks or a month, they're out running or playing soccer. Our kids over there are some of the happiest people on earth. It just gives me hope that no matter what anybody is facing we can overcome."
Pam Cope says everyone should be educated on modern day slavery and what it looks like.
"There could be somebody that you see that's in an exploited situation and it's our responsibility as global citizens to start identifying that and you have to get educated and know what to look for," Cope says.
There are several ways to help the organization including sponsoring a child or project at the care center, or donating money.
Learn more here.
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