When [Operation Underground Railroad] began in 2013, Ed Smart (Elizabeth’s father) came on as the director for prevention and rehabilitation. His role is to help governments in the countries O.U.R. rescues children establish programs to help the freed children recover.
“This guy is so connected and he’s such a great asset to our team because he knows all the players in the game and he’s so passionate about it because of his personal experiences,” Ballard said about Ed Smart.
The idea to completely merge the similar-minded nonprofit organizations came from Ed Smart a short while later.
“In September, as we discussed the future of O.U.R., Elizabeth and I both felt there was a terrific synergy between our missions and it would be a no brainer to see the two organizations merge to maximize the potential of preventing sexual abuse, rescuing children and providing them with an opportunity for a better future,” Ed Smart said.
Ed and Elizabeth Smart set out to join forces with O.U.R., and Elizabeth went on an operation and currently serves on O.U.R.’s board of governors.