HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Los Angeles Chargers safety Alohi Gilman is set to wear custom-made cleats this weekend to raise awareness in the fight against sex trafficking.
In conjunction with the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign, the former Kahuku Red Raider has decided to represent Ho’ola Na Pua, a local organization that is working to eliminate sex trafficking on the islands.
“There was a big thing going on about sex trafficking and raising awareness with that, so I wanted to find a company or organization that helped represent that and Ho’ola Na Pua was a great one for me to choose and help raise awareness.” Gilman told Hawaii News Now. “It’s something that I’m really interested in, so anyway I could help it was a great opportunity for me.”
Gilman will don purple Nike Vapor Untouchables — created by Hawaii-born artist Jalen Torres — with different sayings and symbols painted along the sides, including the Hawaiian islands and “1-888-373-7888”, the National sex trafficking hotline.
The 23-year-old is hoping that his message will not only resonate with the 808, but with the rest of the country, saying that trafficking has become a global issue.
“In the world, there are about a million children around the world that is being sex trafficked per year which is a crazy stat to think of, but in the state of Hawaii specifically, 11-years-old is the average age when children are sex trafficked, which is pretty crazy thing to hear.” Gilman said.
Ho’ola Na Pua has been around for over a decade, now considered as one of the rising standards in their efforts, with outreach throughout the state, utilizing integrated programming to extend their reach as far as possible.
“Ho’ola Na Pua does a great job, first of all through education, they go to schools, they have webinars that teach children as well as adults how to deal with these types of things, how to raise awareness.” Gilman said. “Another cool thing that they do is they go to policemen, nurses, doctors on how to approach and treat a patient who was actually sex trafficked, I think that was pretty cool because they not only focus on rescuing them but the second half of it, which is probably more important, being able to heal and help them.”
During his time a the University of Notre Dame, Gilman would engage in different community service projects, but the former golden domer says that he hopes his most recent efforts is a bright spot in the dark world of sex trafficking.
“A symbol of hope, you know that this is something we can over come, obviously raising awareness and as this topic of sex trafficking, especially child sex trafficking has kind of escalated, I think its a great opportunity for me to show that we can stand up against it.” Gilman said. “Just show some hope to the people out there that this is something that can be taken by the horns and if we stand together, I think that’s something that can make a big impact, especially in our state.”
“My Cause, My Cleats” is an initiative created by the NFL to allow players to wear custom cleats, with all of the proceeds going to a charity or organization of the players choice — allowing players to sport flashy footwear for a good cause.
“First of all, to Ho’ola Na Pua I’m super grateful, super honored and blessed to be able to represent them this Sunday, I will probably dedicate the cleats and probably sign them to send it to them.” Gilman said. “Just super grateful for this opportunity to represent and I hope this opportunity that was given to me will be able to raise some awareness and help anybody anywhere.”
Be on the lookout for Gilman and his cleats this Sunday when the LA Chargers take on the New England Patriots at 11:30 a.m. Hawaii time on KGMB.