You see the words in commercials during Eyewitness News. You used to seem them on sides of milk cartons. But I’m willing to bet you will never see this child, because you aren’t paying attention. Rather than taking a few seconds to walk by the bulletin board while grocery shopping, you turn a blind eye to the issue. And that’s the problem with America. Nobody cares until they are the ones in trouble.
Imagine you are the mother of a precious baby girl. You place her basinet in the shopping cart while browsing the grocery store. After going through a few aisles, you finally find that brand of cereal that you have a coupon for. While bending over to pick up the box, you accidentally knock down more cereal boxes. Being the considerate shopper that you are, you quickly place your desired box in the cart, and then turn your back again to pick up the cereal boxes you knocked over. After cleaning up your mess, you stand up to check on your sleeping baby and continue your shopping. Except there is one problem. Your innocent child has been taken out of your cart in the few seconds you had your back turned. Suddenly, your jovial demeanor quickly turns to panic.
Regardless of how good a parent, sibling, or babysitter you are, a situation like this can happen to anyone. Yet, no one takes a moment to help out unless they know the child personally. Unfortunately, the handful of people they do know just doesn’t seem like it’s enough to scour the ends of the earth to find that missing child. In the back of their minds, they know the truth. “I never took the time to help find a missing child I didn’t know, so why would I expect other people to help me?” Of course, by the time they realize the error of their ways it’s too late. They are left to depend on the kindness of strangers that are few and far between to return the missing child to the home.
That problem must end now. Each and every time, I go grocery shopping, visit Wal-Mart, or find myself in the store with a Missing Kids board, I dedicate at least five minutes to reading the descriptions of the people on it. It may seem impossible, but I could be the one responsible for returning a child over to their parents. After all, impossible things happen everyday. Imagine how much sooner families can be reunited if everyone dedicated a few minutes of their day to paying attention to the missing kids alerts. In the event I do find myself in that situation one day, it will comfort my heart knowing that somewhere in the world, there are other people like me that care just as much as I do about looking at those Missing Kids bulletin boards and returning the child home as I do.
Join me and help bring kids back home:
1. Join the Poster Partners program
Sign up to get posters of missing children in your area emailed to you once a week. Print them out and display the posters around your community.
2. Stop and Look
Dedicate a few minutes of your shopping experience to looking at the bulletin of missing people around the country.
3. Watch videos on Youtube
Visit YouTube and spend a few minutes watching the videos of missing children on the Don’t You Forget About Me channel.
4. Encourage retailers
Talk to the managers at your favorite stores about dedicating a spot to displaying Missing Kids posters. (I’ve been trying to encourage WalMart of Old Bridge, NJ managers to move their Missing Kids bulletin to a more prominent location in the store. Right now, it is in the corner near the bathrooms and customer service.)
5. Get Amber Alerts
Sign up to get Amber Alerts sent to your cell phone.
Do you pay attention to the Missing Kid bulletin boards? What do you do to help return children to their families?
TERRIfic Quip: I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.