For most people, flying is an enjoyable experience. Whether it’s a long-awaited vacation or a visit to a loved one, it’s a time of excitement and anticipation. But for some, the skies hold a dark secret.
Shelia Fredrick, an experienced flight attendant, never expected that her life would be forever changed during a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. As she went about her duties, she noticed something unusual that caught her attention.
Seated next to an elderly man was a young girl, dressed in shabby clothes. When Shelia passed by, the girl’s eyes met hers, and in that instant, Shelia felt a deep sense of urgency. Something wasn’t right.
Shelia attempted to talk to the man, but he became defensive, raising more suspicions. Trusting her instincts, she decided to leave a pen and paper in the airplane toilet, hoping that the young girl would understand and reach out for help if needed.
After discreetly signaling the girl, Shelia anxiously waited. When she returned to the toilet, she discovered a heart-wrenching message on the paper: “I need help.” In that moment, Shelia knew she had to take immediate action.
A call to the authorities led to the man’s arrest upon landing. The girl, only 14 years old, had been a victim of human trafficking, abducted just two months earlier.
Moved by this experience, Shelia joined forces with organizations like Airline Ambassadors International, founded by retired flight attendant Nancy Rivard. This organization trains flight attendants to identify signs of human trafficking and collaborates with law enforcement agencies, such as the US Customs and Border Police, to combat this heinous crime.
Shelia emphasizes the importance of being vigilant and aware of the signs. Her brave actions have not only saved lives but have also led to her involvement in training programs that enable her to make a difference in future situations.
The shocking reality is that approximately 1.2 million children fall victim to trafficking each year. Boys and girls alike are subjected to forced labor, sexual exploitation, and even recruitment as child soldiers. These horrifying crimes against humanity must be stopped.
Shelia Fredrick’s quick-thinking and courageous intervention saved a young girl’s life. Let us honor Shelia and all the flight attendants who work tirelessly to fight against human trafficking. Share this post with your loved ones to raise awareness of this ongoing issue. Together, we can make a difference and help end this injustice.