MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - There are more than 143 million orphans around the world, left alone with no one to love or take care of them.
One woman from Marshall, Texas has dedicated her life to changing lives after meeting a little girl while working at a village school in Kenya.
"She was 8 years old and I took her around to all of the orphanages in that major city and they were all full. No one had room for her and so I was unable to help her and she ended up becoming a prostitute at the age of 10," said Sally Lockett.
For the seventh year in a row, the local non-profit organization she founded, Portion for Orphans, is calling on people in the Ark-La-Tex to put their feet forward for those in need.
This Saturday, February 6, hundreds of runners and walkers will line up on the brick streets in downtown Marshall for the organizations largest local fundraiser, the Hope Run.
In 2009, the organization raised enough to pay full expenses for 7 cleft lip surgeries for babies in China. They gave $10,000 to help feed close to 40 orphans in Thailand. In Kenya, $38,000 was donated to cover medical expenses at an orphanage with children suffering numerous disorders.
"I can't help all the kids in the world, but if I can do a little something to help those orphanages expand and take in more children, then it would be worth it," said Lockett.
She also tells us that like much of the world, she was heartbroken at the images coming out of Haiti following the earthquake that left thousands of children separated from their parents.
"There are hundreds of orphanages there and we're certain that quite a few of those were destroyed and the children are sleeping outside. So we hope to go in and help reconstruct one, maybe more of those."
This year, Portion for Orphans is focusing efforts on one small orphanage in Beijing, China.
"The situation in China is really sad because they're only allowed to have one child. So if there is something wrong with that child or if the mother already has a child, then that one is gonna just pretty much be disposed of," explained Lockett.
100% of the registration fees and money donated this weekend at the 5k run and 2-mile walk, goes towards the children at the New Hope Foundation in Beijing.
The 7th annual Hope Run starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at 110 E. Houston St. on the square in downtown Marshall. You can register online at www.hoperun.org or that morning at 8 a.m.