The internet giant Google is donating millions of dollars to help stop a massive worldwide problem, human trafficking.
"This is a huge problem that exists in our community not just somewhere far away," says Maria Trujillo with the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition to stop human trafficking.
Slaves are being held here in the least likely of places.
"Maids or nannies in multi-million dollar homes in places like Sugar Land, The Woodlands, nice neighborhoods. You would never expect your neighborhood of having a slave," explains Trujillo.
Many victims of this growing problem are immigrants coming to America to live out a dream and they end up in a nightmare.
"They often go through brutal beatings, starvation, isolation and many people say the trauma inflicted on victims of human trafficking is at the same level of a torture victim," Trujillo explains.
Certain types of companies seem to be cashing in on modern day slavery, forcing people to work for little or no wages, no off days and no freedom to leave.
"Construction industry, the restaurant industry, hospitality industry. It could be the maids that are working in a hotel," says Trujillo and of course there are the manicure-pedicure shops and mock massage parlors where girls are held as sex slaves.
"Actually there's more enslaved people today than at any point in our history," says Trujillo.
If you find it hard to believe people are being held as slaves here in Houston, Trujillo sees it first hand.
"Someone literally lived in the closet underneath the stairs".
One of the latest Houston slave rings includes people being held against their will, only let out to be driven to apartment complexes to sell illegal movies and music.
"Who would know someone coming to your apartment knocking on your door trying to sell CD's and DVD's that they would actually be part of a human trafficking ring?" says Trujillo
Google's three million dollar donation to start the Global Human Trafficking Hotline will help connect agencies around the world, making it easier to bust the bad guys who simply change locations when someone is on to them. "We all are part of the solution. We could all make a difference in bringing an end to human trafficking" says Trujillo.
So what can you do to help? If you believe someone is being used as a labor or sex slave simply have a conversation with them asking 'when's the last time you saw your family? What are your days off? How do you like your job?' and let them know you can help them.
The phone number to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center to report slavery or to get help if you are a victim call 1-888-3737-888.
You are also urged to get involved with volunteer organizations, call or write lawmakers to ask what they plan to do to help stop the problem and don't buy products from companies that use slave labor.
The crime of selling and using people as slaves has become a $32 billion a year business. 1.2 million children are sold as slaves every year.
If you know someone who is enslaved help is available for them. They can apply and obtain legal working status in this country.
Trafficking victims can also receive assistance with shelter, food, healthcare and other social services
Anti-slavery activists are encouraging you to take a stand against modern day slavery and to stop sitting back and doing nothing about such an awful crime.