Focused on Modern Slavery

As a social worker at Oakland Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, Erica Greve saw no place for child victims of sex slavery to heal and stay safe from their traffickers.

She wanted to do something, and, so in 2011, founded the nonprofit Unlikely Heroes.

In the eight years since, the agency, now headquartered in Grapevine, has rescued more than 400 children and educated more than 80,000 people about human tracking, according to unlikelyheroes.com.

More than 45.8 million people are enslaved worldwide, and Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for reported human trafficking cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. “The average age of an American girl who becomes commercially exploited is only 13 years old, and it is estimated to be even younger for children who are trafficked internationally.

The nonprofit works internationally, operating restoration homes and aftercare programs where children receive medical care, trauma therapy, individualized education plans, life skills, and lots of love, Greve said

“The children in our restoration homes range from as young as 5 years to 18 years old.,” Min said.

“The true unlikely heroes are these kids who, after enduring the most traumatic pain possible, are able to heal and look ahead at the rest of their lives with hope.” – Erica Greve

The agency serves more than 100 children in seven homes in the Philippines, Thailand, and Mexico.

Elevate Academy, the agency’s new nationwide domestic survivor program for victims older than
18, combines community, healing, mentorship, and empowerment.

“The true unlikely heroes are these kids who, after enduring the most traumatic pain possible, are able to heal and look ahead at the rest of their lives with hope,” Greve said. “They often want to help as many trapped kids find freedom like they once desperately needed. Seeing them pursue big dreams and help others makes all the long days absolutely worth it.”

Volunteer opportunities include service projects and efforts to raise awareness about human trafficking. Email [email protected] or visit unlikelyheroes.com.

The children served graduate high school, enter the workforce, and have families of their own. “ rough our work at Unlikely Heroes, children who were once exploited, are now seeing value in their lives and developing the self-confidence to realize their individual, personal potential,” executive director Kelley Sherpy said.

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