A student from New Hanover County is using her needle to help prevent human trafficking.
Helen Xiao is a student at New Hanover High School and for her senior project, Xiao made dresses for girls who could easily become a victim of human trafficking.
"I was just really surprised to learn that human trafficking still occurs in the world today," Xiao said. "Not only was it such a terrible crime when I researched it, millions of people are being trafficked each day, and it's happening here in Wilmington locally too."
After researching the issue, Xiao said she wanted to help in whatever way she could.
The organization Xiao is supporting is called Dress a Girl around the World.
"This organization says usually if girls are wearing nicer dresses, and they have this tag on, potential traffickers will see that girls are taking care of under this organization and so it will prevent them from possibly taking these girls," Xiao explained.
Xiao made 10 dresses out of pillow cases. She said her project inspired the Apparel Development class to also make dresses.
Xiao is sending a total of 40 dresses to Dress a Girl Around the World. The organization serves more than 200 countries including Kenya, Cambodia and the Philippines.
"It's shocking to see like people could take these kids and children and force them into sex trafficking, labor trafficking, but I mean like this could be something that could be easily prevented," Xiao said.
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