A self-admitted "player" who chased one-night stands and not much more on the relationship front, Pete Lynagh was not the kind of guy you’d expect to give up sex for a year.
But after making a friendly bet with his roommate, the boxing instructor and DJ, who lives in Australia, took a vow of celibacy on New Years Day last year and ended up saving a bunch of lives because of it, The Age reported.
After accepting his buddy’s challenge, Lynagh decided to commit his abstinence to saving girls and women who are forced against their will to have sex. The 33-year-old launched a campaign to raise funds and awareness for Free to Shine, an Australia-based nonprofit that empowers trafficking survivors and vulnerable girls in Cambodia by giving them scholarships.
“Yes, this will be a challenge but when there is a cause that's way bigger than you, following through is the only option,” he wrote on his fundraising page.
The organization seeks out girls living in the poorest villages who are prime targets. They are often the ones taken from their parents with promises of getting jobs as maids in the city, but are forced into the sex industry, according to the organization’s website.
Because of corruption, insufficiently enforced laws and a number of other issues, Cambodia is a prime destination for child sex offenders, according to CNN.
To help the nonprofit, Lynagh laid his mission completely out there.
To date, he has raised $22,429, an amount that enabled the charity to double the amount of girls its serves to nearly 140 and to also set up an office and hire more staff, according to The Age.
In Setpember, Lynagh took a trip to Cambodia to meet the kids he’s helping to save and to hear their stories.
"'I was so inspired by the kids over there,'' he told The Age. ''Some of the stories are horrific but they're the happiest people I've met in my life.
This year, Lynagh’s is keeping his service efforts local and is working with The Big Umbrella, which helps impoverished kids in Australia and overseas. He’ll be working in an underserved school in Melbourne, teaching students about entrepreneurship, social justice, fundraising, leadership and life skills, according to his Facebook page.
To get involved in Lynagh's mission to save girls from being trafficked, you don't have to give anything up other than a few bucks. Find out how you can contribute to his campaign here and learn more about Free to Shine here.