Flying is usually a thrilling and enjoyable experience, full of anticipation and excitement. Whether it is a much-needed vacation or a visit to a loved one, the journey is a time of delight and excitement.
But, every now and then, something unexpected happens in the midst of all the excitement, and life takes a melancholy turn. This is the story of Sheila Frederick, a flight attendant whose life was permanently transformed by a meeting on a trip between Seattle and San Francisco.
Stranger’s Unsettling Presence
Sheila sensed anything strange as she went about her duties on the plane. An elderly man sat next to a young blonde girl dressed shabbily. When their gazes met, Sheila detected a great sense of urgency in the girl’s gaze. Something was obviously incorrect. Sheila made the decision to approach the man and discover more after her instincts alerted her.
A Suspicious Message and a Risky Scheme
When Sheila questioned him, he became defensive and enraged. She had a sneaking suspicion that there was more to the story than met the eye. In attempt to help, she designed a strategy.
Sheila left a pen and paper in the restroom, hoping the young girl would find it if she needed assistance. She then beckoned for the girl to go the restroom and waited with bated breath for her return.
The Note That Changed My Life
Sheila advised the girl to go the restroom, and her heart began to beat faster. When she finally got her hands on the paper left for the child, she was greeted with a chilling message: “I need help.”
Sheila contacted the authorities right away after learning the girl was in grave danger. When the plane landed, the police were ready to apprehend the person responsible for the girl’s trauma.
Bringing the Unknown to Light
Human trafficking had claimed the 14-year-old girl. She had only been kidnapped two months ago and had endured horrible torture. Sheila’s quick thinking and actions resulted in her rescue and the trafficker’s capture.
The Impact of Awareness
Sheila’s courage is not an isolated incident. Airlines like Ambassadors International teach flight attendants to recognize signs of human trafficking. These conscientious attendants aggressively battle this heinous crime by working with US Customs and Border Patrol.
After her event in 2011, Sheila joined together with Airline Ambassadors and got the information needed to identify such instances in the future.
“There are many warning signs to be aware of,” Sheila says.
The Unsettling Truth
Unfortunately, the United Nations estimates that around 1.2 million children are victims of human trafficking each year. Forced labor, sexual exploitation, and even enlistment as child soldiers affect both boys and girls. These atrocities need our immediate attention and action.
Fortunately, Sheila’s alertness and determination saved the life of a young girl. Let us celebrate her bravery, as well as the efforts of all flight attendants who work diligently to stop human trafficking. Share this article to help raise awareness and fight this ongoing problem. We can make a difference if we work together.