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Couple with Maine ties working to save girls from trafficking

Maria's Safe House would provide a safe haven for rescued girls in Peru.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — It's been almost two years since we told you about how the former Chaplain for the Portland Sea Dogs was on a mission to save children from human trafficking.

Bob McClure and his wife are a step closer to opening a 'safe house' in Peru for young girls who have been rescued.

The hope is that providing more safe havens in Latin America will help stem the wave of unaccompanied migrant children who end up in our country where the victimization continues.

More than five years ago, Bob McClure and his wife Karin wanted to prevent children from vanishing from villages in Peru. 

Children either snatched off the streets or voluntarily sold to traffickers by their own families who couldn't afford to care for them.

"They use these children to a point until they don't need them anymore and dispose of them and use them for organ harvesting," McClure said. 

The couple and their young daughter, live in Oyotun Peru, his wife's hometown of about 10,000 people.

A half a world away from Portland where McClure spent 18 years serving as a chaplain for the Sea Dogs. The couple runs 'Maria's Safe House' to help children after being rescued. The nonprofit is still raising money to operate the home, which will house girls 12 and older. They will get medical care, an education and possibly go on to college.

Former Sea Dogs and other Major League players are also getting involved in fighting human trafficking.

"We are also talking with Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and Albert Pujols of the California Angels," McClure said.

According to the United Nations, human trafficking affects every country in the world, with global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers. Thousands of victims from Latin America are trafficked into the US every year. 

Joe Adams, a retired Marine Colonel spent 18 years with Project Blue Light, which supports homeland security along the US-Mexico border. He and other volunteers helped rescue more than 1,000 children. He is now working to provide security and other resources for Maria's Safe House. 

"He is causing a cause and effect down there that's very positive and we need more of this," Colonel, U.S. Marines, Ret. said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

The United Nations publishes a list of indicators and signs to help identify potential victims of trafficking.

If would like to donate to Maria's Safe House you can contact Bob McClure here. You can send donations to Royal Ridge Church of God, Attn: MSH Royal Ridge Road, Scarborough, ME,  04074

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