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This month we bring you:
- Thank You Members
- Family Volunteering
- Join our Rapid Response Team eVolunteers
THANK YOU, MEMBERS
The Board and staff are truly grateful to all of you who took the time to fill out our SnapSurveys during January & February. Your ideas and comments are amazingly helpful. We could see your truths in what you told us. And, we could sense how much you care about the safety of all children.
Thanks again. We’ll inform you when we’ve completed the strategic plan.
FAMILY VOLUNTEERING—Are Your Kids Interested in Distributing Missing Child Posters?
You and your children may be interested in distributing missing child posters as a family volunteer project. This is a great project for families with busy schedules because you’re able to set your own volunteer schedule in addition to helping find missing children.
Our Rapid Response Team eVolunteers (RRT) have been distributing missing child posters for years. The RRT eVolunteers receive an email from us with a link to a missing child poster, which they print and distribute to bulletin boards in their communities. Now, we want to offer you the opportunity to make this a volunteer project which includes your family members as well.
You can help your children build hope with each poster they help distribute--over 99% of all missing children are found. And the volunteer habits your kids develop can last a lifetime.
Many kids feel strongly about the welfare of other children, and are often at a loss of what they might do to help. Also, they know that if they were to go missing, they would want everyone looking for them.
You may see these types of feelings being expressed with the current devastation in Japan. While you are distributing posters together, your actions can show your children that no matter what happens you will always look for them.
Here’s what your family volunteering might look like once you decide to join the Rapid Response Team eVolunteers (RRT). (You can always take the information below and customize it to your own family situation.)
You can have a family meeting to figure out:
- Where you’re going to distribute the missing child posters. See Rapid Response Team eVolunteer manual for suggestions.
- How many posters you’ll be distributing on each trip.
- Who’s in charge of receiving the RRT emails, printing out the posters and figuring out the time the family will be heading out for poster distribution.
We suggest each family member practice asking permission to put a poster on a bulletin board in a store or restaurant:“Hi, I’m a volunteer with the Polly Klaas® Foundation. I’ve been asked to distribute this missing child poster. Could I please put it on your [front window or bulletin board]?”
Also, you may want to practice responding to someone questioning why they should let you put up a poster for a child who went missing from another part of the country, “Children who go missing [or are kidnapped] very often are found far away from their home”*
For safety and credibility, please be sure an adult accompanies each child during poster distribution.
When an email comes from the RRT notifying eVolunteers of developments in each case, be sure to make sure each family member is notified. We want you to know we really are happy to send out those emails when children are found.
We know distributing missing child posters may sound questionable to some families. This is a family choice and every parent decides if their children will or will not be able to participate. Our experience shows, however, that there is a long tradition of young people eager to volunteer to help find missing children.
When Polly Klaas was kidnapped, citizens in the town of Petaluma set up a Search Center to coordinate the search activities. Some members of Polly’s school class asked their parents if they could volunteer, like the daughter of one of our former employees. At the request of their daughter, every evening after dinner this family walked to the Search Center and help in any way possible—stuffing envelopes with Polly’s poster, answering phones and running errands.
Continuing this tradition, for many years local high school students flooded our office after school to help us prepare bulk mailings of Child Safety Kits.
Each parent interested in this family volunteering opportunity needs to figure out what works best for their kids and family. Be prepared to answer tough questions children may have. Please remember that, although rare, sometimes a missing child is found deceased. Here are some ideas that may prepare your kids on creating a family volunteer project to distribute missing child posters.
- Remember, over 99% of missing children are found. This activity helps build hope.
- Read our FAQs, so you can start a conversation and answer questions
- Talk with your family members about volunteering together. Tell them how you think it might work. Print out a sample poster. You can also ask them for their ideas on how your family could do this.
- Remind them that posters really do help find kids.
- Be open-minded in your discussions. Leave room for your kids to express their fears, so you can know whether or not this can be a positive activity for each family member.
Once you’ve decided to volunteer, please be sure to register.
JOIN OUR RAPID RESPONSE TEAM eVOLUNTEERS—Help Find Missing Children
You can volunteer to distribute missing child posters in your community. Individuals and families are welcome. We can work together to help find those precious children faster.
Rapid Response Team eVolunteers:
- Receive approximately 10 emails/month, each with a link to a missing child poster.
- Print the posters you want to distribute.
- Distribute the posters throughout your community.
- Decide how much time and effort you can volunteer.
- Decide how many posters you will distribute.
- Receive a downloadable eVolunteer Guide.
- Email and phone contact with the Polly Klaas® Foundation.
You are joining a large group of people who are actively searching for missing children.
We never give up hope.
About Polly Klaas® Foundation
The Polly Klaas® Foundation helps find missing children, prevents children from going missing, and promotes laws like Amber Alert that help keep children safe.
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