KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 14 year-old Laila met Kate Kranz while living in a shelter for children of women who were in prison. Kate, who's now in Italy, was working with the State Department on women's issues in Afghanistan, and Laila was working on a new life.
"Most of the children in the shelter had mothers that they were eventually going to reunite with, mothers who loved them and who wanted to take care of them," Kate explained.
Kate said Laila didn't have one of those mothers.
"She was in the shelter because her mother had actually sold her into prostitution when she was seven," Kate said.
With no family, Kate learned Laila's life didn't have a good chance of turning out well, even though in the shelter she'd learned how to read, write, and even speak English. Kate was compelled to help. She called her three sisters to see if they'd be willing to help too.
"They all responded immediately with- let's do this!" Kate said of her sisters.
"Katie saw something in her, we needed to help her," Meghan Kranz, Kate's sister, explained.
The sisters have found a way to get Laila a student visa to study in the U.S. and they have a place for her to live, but they need money to allow her to study here. Kate said it'll cost about $10,000 a year for school alone, so they're holding a gala in February in Overland Park.
The sisters believe their kindness will give Laila a new chance at life, and they hope that will have a "ripple effect" on others here and in Afghanistan.
"I'm one small person, she's one small person, but it only, sometimes it only takes one person," Kate said.
"Pray for her and pray for us and pray that our whole world can help other children like this. There's so many more than just Laila," Meghan said, explaining how others can help.
Laila just got the good news that the Afghan Embassy in India is allowing her to live there to improve her English and computer skills, plus keep her safe. Laila's mother was recently released from prison, and there is fear Laila's life is in danger.
To help the Kranz sisters and Laila go to this website.
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