Finding Kids Is Hard

Finding Kids Rarely Feels Good – Part 1

On any given day, if you ask me what the biggest hurdle to finding kids or combating exploitation is, my answer will change. Usually, it is influenced by whatever drama I’ve most recently had to deal with in getting kids home or talking to a group. My go-to responses are usually: willful ignorance of parents, grooming by the media, emotionalism, third wave feminism, and the phenomenon of IQ degradation in large groups. Unlike a carefully selected think-tank capitalizing on each part’s strengths, spontaneous social groups revert to their weakest attributes.

Talk to kids

A few days ago, I shared this bit about talking to your kids on my social media page. The boss suggested I share it here.  I was all set to do it, but got distracted with a missing child case in my town. Today, I may have an answer to one of those questions.  Why aren’t they doing more to find these kids?  The answer is, “they’re human.”  Altruists, idealists, Samaritans, martyrs, narcissists, and voyeurs are all attracted to this work. We can’t know who is who until after they show their true colors.

I imagine that’s why police and government agencies do psychological screenings and polygraphs. Non-profits and civilian entities rarely have that resource.

Spend any time volunteering or trying to get in the door at a missing child, trafficking, or really, any kind of non-profit and you’ll know exactly what I mean.  Territorialism, ego, and doubt are huge factors that keep volunteers from joining or hanging around. We really do need thick skin, selective hearing, and a lot of self-esteem to keep to the grind when that collective IQ drops or egos clash. Add kids to the mix and we’re talking minefields.

So far, I have chosen not to take all I’ve learned and start my own organization. It’s like buying a second home because you hate your bathroom. So many nonprofits and volunteer groups exist. They just need more people, better leadership, less ego, more cooperation with other organizations… they need a thorough renovation.  I’ve been told that this is selfish and lazy. Eventually, I may consider that.

When I think about it, it’s a miracle that we don’t fall to anarchists daily.

I’m learning that it is also a miracle when an organization, peopled with this mishmash of personalities, can function despite themselves.  I think hope has a lot to do with that. We all hope for a good resolution, a better day, a day when our kids are safe. It unites us. It makes us strong on the bad days. It’s what allows imperfect people and imperfect organizations to be successful through their own flaws.

I think today, of all days, is a wonderful time to celebrate the successes of these missing child and anti-trafficking organizations. I hope to continue working with these groups and clubs for many years to come. Frankly, if it keeps me in the fight, it’s worth it, because not working with them would mean I’ve given up hope.

It probably seems like I am trying to scare you off. That’s not it. I want you involved in every way. More importantly, I want you to be aware of what you’re getting into. Every body we can bring into the fight is an asset. I see too many walk away because they weren’t prepared. Military, law enforcement, retail, and a dozen other jobs do not compare to the all volunteer non-profit world.

Volunteers can search locally for organizations that combat human trafficking, child exploitation, and fight to improve laws. There are opportunities to help kids for absolutely anyone, in every way. From letter writing, to social media sharing, to door to door canvassing, to public speaking. Whatever your strength or passion is, there is a way to apply it. If you’re not sure what you can do, email me and we’ll talk.

Learn how to pick an organization here. Part 2

Learn how to help without joining here.  Part 3


P.S. That kid is still missing, so please pray for him. His poster can be shared from our facebook page.

P.S.S. We just got word that the kid has been found!! Only 392 more to go. Please keep sharing posters.