I have had the honor and privilege of getting to know Cindy Simmons from Star 94 over the past few months. She is the first bride to participate in Andy Brophy’s Love Gives Way campaign, and we could not be more honored for her to represent Wellspring Living in this way. She is our guest blogger this week, and would like to share her story of how she came to be involved with the fight against human trafficking.  

:::From Cindy:::

I met the photographer named Andy Brophy from One Nine Images over two years ago when we had to do our new Cindy and Ray/STAR 94 “class pictures” as we call them. lol These are the pictures you see on our Website. In over eight years of taking these types of pictures, I have never seen pictures like Andy’s. Ah-mazing!

After that photo shoot, even though my boyfriend Eric and I had just started dating, anytime I saw Andy I would say, “I can’t wait for you to do my wedding!” He would just smile! Little did he know that I was totally serious and would really be asking him to shoot our wedding one day. Who wouldn’t? His pictures are amazing and he has done weddings at the Fox Theater and all over Atlanta. Earlier this year, my dear friend (and STAR 94 midday girl) Heather Branch and I attended an art exhibit that Andy put on with a friend. It included pictures of his recent trip to India and his experience working with an organization that helped fight against human trafficking. It was heart breaking. I knew NOTHING about human trafficking. Nothing.

Shortly after that, I had a pretty intense telephone conversation with Andy on the way out of town for a family beach weekend. My now fiancé listened to my conversation with Andy as we drove for miles and miles.  When Andy shared with me just how much this actually goes on in our own backyard, I almost fell over! I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know this was something that happened in our country much less in our own city. I was naïve, very naive. I could not stop thinking about our conversation the entire weekend. That was the day I felt my life change.

Andy shared with me an idea that he had to help fight against human trafficking by using his photography. It was a pretty incredible idea and Eric and I wanted to be involved. He partnered with Wellspring Living, a non-profit organization I never heard of until that day. He also partnered with Blake Canterbury from BeRemedy another amazing person who we had recently had on our morning show. Andy is providing Metro Atlanta brides and grooms with an opportunity to partner with him and to choose that their Love Gives Way to the recovery and restoration of these girls.

So here is his goal: He plans to shoot 30 weddings from December 2011 – December 2012 offering a special Love Gives Way package which benefits Wellspring Living. Our Dec 3rd wedding is going to be the first one! Yay! Eric and I can’t wait for our “Love to give way” at our own wedding and to do our part to help these girls!

                                              Cindy and Eric at Wellspring Living’s 5K

Eric and I have been so deeply affected by this fight against human trafficking that we wanted to do more. As much as we could do, really. So we decided that when we registered for our wedding gifts, we would make it 100% for the girls at Wellspring Living. Although we will never meet the girls, we hope that their shopping experience (through our Target wedding registry) will show them that we care about them and the restoration of their lives. This is just the beginning for Eric and me. We want to keep doing as much as we can! This has changed our lives and we want to contribute to changing the lives of these girls. They do not deserve what they have been through.

Check out our Wedding Registry and find out more about what Eric and I are doing for Wellspring Living.  

If you would like more details on the project with OneNine Images and Love Gives Way, check out Andy’s blog.

I am very Blessed to be on STAR 94 and have a voice. I will continue to use that voice to talk about human trafficking until there is no need to talk about it anymore. I will continue to be a voice for those who don’t have one.