One of my earliest brainstorms was that photo buttons might be a really effective tool in the search for missing people. According to the US Attorney General there are over 100,000 missing people in the US on any given day! Some are runaways, some the result of parental custody issues and others like Kyle Fleischmann and Justin Gaines simply vanish into thin air -- does it matter...really how or why they disappear -- each one of these souls has a family and friends who love them and are distraught from "not knowing".
Missing Person experts will tell you the most important thing is to get the picture and the story of the missing person out as quickly and broadly as possible. I believe simple photo button are the best way to do this - unlike fliers on telephone poles - buttons are worn by real people who can spread not just the FACE the STORY of a missing person. Strangers will ask you about "the button you're wearing" and that starts a conversation that without the button never would have happened - multiply that by 100s, 1000s of buttons and once can only imagine the impact and leads that can be generated.
Set up the button in a gallery like here on Buttons of Hope and anyone can order a button -- using the internet the buttons can literally follow the missing person across the country - as people wear buttons in other cities! Personal Billboards(photo buttons) are the newest and simply powerful tool in the search for missing children and adults.
There are several extraordinary organizations that support the families and assist with search efforts -- bloodhounds, investigators, billboards and now photo buttons. One such organization is the Kristen Foundation -- founded by Joan Petruski in honor of Kristen Modafferi who vanished 6/23/97 -- please take a minute to read Kristen's story.
Buttons of Hope is elated to be working with this established and well respected search and support foundation -- Joan is a dogged, persistent champion of the often overlooked missing adult group -- some causes are easy --missing adults is not one of them and Joan has committed her life's work to helping comfort and support of these families. Currently we are offering photo buttons of four of Joan's "kids" as she lovingly calls them Kristen, Tim Carney, Travis Lee Baker and April Pitzer -- we will be adding more soon.
We are enthusiastic about the prospects for photo buttons as a search tool. Wearing a photo button is an easy way to show your support and aid in the search. Wear your button today!