May 12, 2010

Ways Get Involved

Volunteers are often needed to search and distribute flyers. Check out the family's official search page to see where help is needed most in your area.

Get the word out about a missing person
Print a missing person's poster for someone in your area and hang it in a visible spot. (The more posters, the better!) Hold a candlelight vigil and contact the media. Write in to television shows like Nancy Grace, 48 Hours or 20-20 and urge producers to feature the case on television. Spread the word about a missing person on social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Twitter) or on Blogger or You Tube. Send out an e-mail to your friends.

Keep the story alive
Check the families official search website to see if buttons, window clings, bracelets or other items are available for sale. "Adopt" a missing person on Project Jason. Post reminders to social networking sites on important anniversaries. Write to your mayor, state representative, attorney general or others in government to urge that more be done.

Contribute to a Search or Reward Fund
Money is often needed to help families with unexpected expenses during a search or  investigation. Here are some examples of how your donations might be used:
  • lodging and airfare for family or searchers
  • printing of flyers
  • website development
  • private investigators
  • attorney retainer
  • reward fund for information
  • scientific testing/experts
  • counseling expenses
  • activities to spread awareness
Many families have funds set up through banks or have official websites in which they accept PayPal, cash and check donations, frequent flyer miles, or other items for silent auctions. A few of the active fundraising campaigns are listed here.

Some families also sell buttons or other items to help raise awareness. Please be sure to do an internet search for the family's official Facebook or Web page for more details on ways you can help.

Report a tip to proper authorities
If you have any information to add to the investigation, please contact the police or anonymous tip line listed in each person's post on this blog. No tip is too small!

Offer support and encouragement
Loved ones often read this and other internet sites. Please be sure to leave only kind words of support, encouragement, or remembrance when you post online. Holidays and anniversaries can be especially tough. We encourage you to use the links on the menu to revisit a post and leave a comment of hope, encouragement, or remembrance at those times when it is needed the most.

Memorial donations
Donations can help families establish a scholarship, memorial bench, or other loving tribute for one who has passed.

Prevention and Ways to Affect Change
  • Empower young people to be responsible for THEIR OWN safety.
  • Remind young adults to look out for their friends.
  • Urge bars to stop over-serving alcohol.
  • Demand that law enforcement treat all drowning scenes like a potential crime scene, so that potential evidence is collected and preserved.
  • Demand an equal response to search for ALL missing persons—any gender, any race, any age.
  • Ask your legislators to pass “Brandon’s Law” in every state to help get the search for missing adults launched faster and treated seriously.
  • Demand that schools be required to notify parents immediately when a college student goes missing.
  • Attend a "Stick Together, Stay Alive" presentation by Jan Jenkins; ask your local library or high school to sponsor an event. Urge your local college to host a speaker on public safety during freshman orientation. 
Do you have other ideas for this list? Please feel free to leave your comments.

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