Blythe looking to pass. These days her athletic impulses are served more through ultimate frisbee than anything else!
Grand Junction, Colorado. Blythe's hometown.
Does anything speak higher for Blythe's character than the fact that her older brother is not only her great friend, but a valued team member for She Has a Name? Liesen (20) was instrumental in bringing little Sharon from the frightening Kibera Slum.
Blythe and Florence and Ida, June of 2014.
By the time Blythe hits her 20th birthday in August of 2015, she hopes to have helped seven young ladies and their children to have escaped the shackles of poverty-based prostitution. By the time she graduates from Ft. Lewis College, she anticipates that with your help she will have as many as twenty-five young women free from the hopelessness of the poverty-based sex trade and living in secure housing with food and plans for a future that will take each of these young ladies all the way through college toward a new life of hope and restoration. After that, Blythe sees other areas in the United States and overseas where her "starfish approach" to helping one girl at a time can be applied in new settings. In short, Blythe wants to learn the names of real girls living real lives of desperation and help them to find freedom from the bonds of the human sex trade.
Blythe was born and raised in the beautiful high desert of Western Colorado. She was exposed at an early age to the ideas of helping the helpless in many different contexts. Her family planted a church in Grand Junction with University students from Colorado Mesa University when Blythe was barely three years old. The church was planted in the inner-city of Grand Junction, and catered to the needs and concerns of the less-than-wealthy population. Blythe grew up watching her church family reaching into the offering box to help people with rent, food and medical needs. She travelled to Belarus as an eight-year old and learned about poverty and need in a much different light than most of her peers would ever understand.
Once Blythe began to attend middle school, it was obvious that she was developing a heart that was almost exclusively given to the needs of others. Always able to excel academically and athletically, and seemingly able to be friends with just about anybody from any background, Blythe became something of a peer leader in her teen years. She always found time for dance lessons and basketball and even became proficient at piano - playing in her church worship team all through high school. Blythe was recognized at her senior graduation with the John A Hinton Memorial Award for basically being just an outstanding person - and she was noted for such traits as kindness, leadership and courage for such things as creating pizza lunches between the LGBT Student Club and the FCA Club. Blythe lettered in basketball three years in a 5A program, and though she never starred in the sport, her experiences as an athlete were foundational in shaping her sensitivities toward loyalty and teamwork and sacrifice. During her high-school years, Blythe was exposed through Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Christian Challenge at CMU (which she attended as a high-schooler, even serving on the collegiate leadership team as a high school senior!) to several videos and stories that spoke of human trafficking and poverty-based oppression around the world. Her heart melted toward these needs and when the opportunity to travel with her father on a ministry trip to Kenya was afforded her, she began to bring the worlds of human trafficking, the Mathare Slums and a Grand Junction basketball player into one focus. She saw Mathare, saw the need, and began to dream of making a difference. Before her third trip to Kenya, in the early spring of 2014, Blythe confessed to her dad that her life dream was to impact the desperation of girls trapped in the sex trade. A little conversation led to the vision that quickly became "She Has a Name." Mathare was chosen as the starting point because Blythe had walked those narrow alleyways and had seen the faces and held the hands of little girls who could not afford to stay in school and were trapped in the never ending cycle of going deeper into the trade to feed themselves and the babies born out of the process. In addition, Blythe had a natural partner ministry in Kenya, right in the slums of Mathare - The Inspiration Centre operated by Moses and Jaime Okonji. The final piece in the decision-making process was the the simple affordability of a Mathare rescue. Blythe began to do the math and discovered that between three and four thousand dollars a year could see a girl from the point of rescue all the way through college graduation and a new life! As Blythe began to share her dream, people just responded. She raised nearly $10,000 dollars without even formally declaring her vision, and was able to rescue Florence, Christine and Sharon and their three babies in June of 2014.
Blythe has surrounded herself with a fairly impressive Board of Directors. She Has a Name is growing so quickly that Blythe is doing the work to establish the project as it's own 501 (c) (3) by August of 2015, releasing it from it's current oversight by the Grand Valley Christian Challenge. She hopes to rescue four new girls in June, and have all seven girls funded through 2018 by the end of the current year. Beyond that, Blythe intends to use a career as a physical therapist to help fund and network her lifetime vision of changing the lives of girls completely, one story at a time.