David Ragland, a high school senior from Bowie, Maryland created his clothing company, CKS Apparel last year to help millennials make an impact on the world. So when he heard about Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) an organization dedicated to rescuing children from sex trafficking, Ragland decided to reach out to non-profit group to see how he could help.
Ragland has created a special limited edition pullover hoodie from his clothing line in support of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers recently announced partnership with Operation Underground Railroad, O.U.R.
Operation Underground Railroad, O.U.R. was founded in December of 2013, by Former Homeland Security and CIA senior official Tim Ballard. O.U.R. consists of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts with law enforcement throughout the world. O.U.R. has rescued 1,400 victims and assisted in arrests of more than 570 traffickers around the world. Last year O.U.R. and the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers announced a partnership to bring awareness to Sex Trafficking.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin wrote the forward in Ballard’s book, “Slave Stealers: True Accounts of Slave Rescues Then and Now.” According to Tomlin, “There is nothing more important on this earth than rescuing abused children.”
When asked why Ragland decided to create a special limited edition in support of O.U.R., Ragland shared his own family’s story about how his older sister was almost kidnapped as a child. According to Ragland, “Two years ago our school had an assembly where we heard from a young woman who was rescued from sex slavery. While listening to her story I thought about my own sister who was almost kidnapped when she was just four years old. Sex slavery is a serious issue. I wanted to use my company to do something that would help in making a difference, so when I found out about Operation Underground Railroad my first thought was we help!”
Recently, David Ragland, Founder of CKS Apparel flew to Pittsburgh to present O.U.R. Founder Tim Ballard with a check in support of O.U.R.’s efforts to rescue children from sex trafficking.
Ragland also addressed what plans he has for the future with CKS Apparel and his main goals. According to Ragland, “Clothing speaks volumes; When you see someone out in the world they make a statement before they even speak just by what clothes they’re wearing. At a time where so many people in our country are comfortable enough to finally express themselves, I’ve created a clothing line that lets the customer say exactly how they feel with what they’re wearing. It’s that feeling that’s going to make an impact for the better in our society. My clothing line makes a statement, a freedom of expression and a feeling of independence. I strongly believe the first impression people get from another is what they wear. The reason I chose streetwear is because often times there’s a preconceived notion that only a certain demographic wears streetwear, and that’s simply not true. My clothing line breaks that societal norm with a client base that consists of people from grandparents to young entrepreneurs. Although CKS Apparel’s main goal is to break the confining walls of society through expression in streetwear, we also love to help others when it is in our power to do so, hence the supporting of Operation Underground Railroad and the great relationship I’ve formed with Tim Ballard. I’m just a kid who has a passion for clothes and helping people”.
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