Talk about a leader.
Jeremy Lin takes annual trips to Asia in the offseason to greet fans and handle other priorities associated with his foundation.
This past season, Lin has teamed up with two Asian-based charities, One Day’s Wages, whose objective is to raise awareness regarding girls education. As we wrote, Lin donated his game check from the Boston Celtics game on March 17. He will do the same this upcoming season.
The other charity is the Hug Project at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Chiang Mai in northwest Thailand, where Lin spent time this past week. The organization aims “to prevent, protect, and restore children from human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.” This is especially tough. Lin tour the remote facility, met with leaders, played some hoops with the kids.
Truth be told, it’s rare for NBA players to take a stand on human rights issues, particularly something like human trafficking. It’s even more rare for a player to travel halfway around to world to witness the horror.
On Monday, Eugene Cho, a pastor and humanitarian leader for One Day’s Wages, posted this telling photo of him and Lin walking through one of the red light districts in Bangkok where 10,000 sex workers, many of them children, are exploited. As Cho writes in his caption, most of the workers are from poor rural areas. Most of them did not choose this life.
When @jlin7 and @onedayswages began our partnership this past year, I was taken back that he didn't just want to make a financial donation but shared that he and his team also wanted to genuinely learn more about the various issues of global justice - both challenges and hopeful aspects. We talked about taking a trip together but I honestly didn't think his team would follow through. Not that I questioned their heart but his schedule is crazy and he's constantly training. Add my schedule - even without training. But by God's grace, it happened. We've been traveling throughout Thailand this past week and learning the various nuances and complexities around girls' empowerment ... patriarchy, poverty, trafficking, education, government, law enforcement, and the list goes on. Earlier this week, we walked through one of the red light districts in Bangkok where on any given night, there are 10,000 sex workers. I've been here several times before but it's still as heavy and painful. Many of these sex workers are from rural areas, the hill tribes, and migrants from neigboring countries. I'm deeply appreciative of Jeremy and his team for joining me this week. Grateful for the various NGOs that hosted us to share their passion and heartaches. Can't wait to share more as I make my way back home. #jlin7 #jeremylin #onedayswages #ODWandJLIN
The concern on Lin’s face is visible as he walks through the tawdry side of Thai tourism. For him, a trip to Asia is not about adulation. There’s plenty of that. But of greater importance, he’s using his voice, his platform to impact thousands of lives.
Good for him.
- Jeremy Lin’s perspective on life rocked after seeing horrors of human trafficking during trip to Asia - Nicolas Parco - New York Daily News
- Seeing the world’s horrors is changing Jeremy Lin - Brian Lewis - New York Post