From the Seattle Times:
When Eric Ensey traveled to India this year, he shook the hand of a man who was freed from bonded labor by the money his teenage students had raised in Sammamish.
"If you hadn't helped us," the Indian millworker told the American middle-school teacher, "we would have died in the rice mill."
Fundraisers for charity are a staple of school life, but Ensey and his students have taken that work in an unusual direction by raising tens of thousands of dollars to help free enslaved people, many living half a world away.
The teens in this well-to-do suburban area have learned about families working in brick kilns in India and brothels in Cambodia where children their own age — and even younger — are sold into slavery.
"I count my blessings, because they're in such a bad place," said eighth-grader Nellie Hoehl, one of Ensey's students at Pine Lake Middle School.
Last year, three Issaquah district schools — Pine Lake, Issaquah High and Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus — together raised $50,000 for the International Justice Mission (IJM), a Washington, D.C., charity that seeks justice for the poor in developing countries. It's the largest donation the IJM has received from a public-school district, and was used to free about 120 enslaved people.