Giving Hope

As she entered her final semester at UNC in late August, Megan Lundstrom didn’t have much money to spare. She’s a married mom of three kids, 12, 9 and 1; a scholarship student; and an entrepreneur carefully nurturing a newborn organization.

With the little extra pocket money she can scare up, she buys gifts for people she’s never met — women she’s connected with over Facebook, women who appreciate the snack bars, lipstick and bubble bath she sends them.

These women are members of a very large and almost entirely underground club — one no one wants to join. Lundstrom, 30, calls this club alternately “the life” and “the game.” These Facebook friends are human trafficking victims working as prostitutes, most of whom never see the money they make. Lundstrom sends them gifts, she says, because “Everybody in their life wants something from them all the time. They don’t believe people are nice just to be nice.”