Never Stop Looking for Missing Children – Celebrating 25 Years

Postal Service, Valassis, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Commemorate “Have You Seen Me?” 25th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, (May 27, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — The hopes of thousands of families are carried every day and seen by millions through a partnership that celebrates its 25th anniversary today.

Valassis, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the U.S. Postal Service have been working to reunite missing children with their families through the “Have You Seen Me?®” program and the power of the U.S. mail since 1985.

As a direct result of leads generated by this program, 149 children have been safely returned to their families. Photos are one of the most effective tools to help recover a missing child because they empower the American public to join the search.

“Each year in America, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 each day,” said NCMEC President Ernie Allen. “Our greatest priority as a society is to protect the innocence of our children and to never stop looking for those who are missing.”

This need is the main reason a special RedPlum™ mailer was created by Valassis and will be delivered to more than 44 million homes this week.

“We don’t just deliver the mail, we deliver hope,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter. “The men and women of the Postal Service provide 500,000 extra pairs of eyes, always open, always watchful, always hopeful that we’ll play a small part in reuniting families.”

The mailer has been customized for six different geographic locations within the United States and features 25 missing children specific to that part of the country. A total of 145 missing children are featured.

“Through the power of our photo program, strong partnerships and the eyes of the American public, we provide hope to missing children and their families from coast to coast,” said Alan F. Schultz, Valassis, chairman, president and CEO. “Over the course of the past 25 years, our commitment has grown and there is an opportunity for more than 100 million households to see the faces of missing children each week.”

To reinforce the importance of the partnership and the need to find missing children, the Postal Service will place the words “Never Stop Looking For Missing Children” and silhouettes of a boy and girl on every letter through the end of June.

“Through the simple act of viewing photos of these children, anyone can forever change the life of a child who has been abducted,” Potter said.