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A couple of years ago over the Christmas holidays, a friend's special needs foster child ran away, while visiting her natural mother in a town in Iowa. By the time the foster mother found out, the child had been gone for 3 days. She called me because many years ago I had worked as a investigator with a company that found runaways.. We took off at once to this town in Iowa. We did all the things you should: contacted the police, TV and Radio stations, put up fliers and checked the places that we thought kids would hang out at. We were’t getting anywhere. Then my friend saw the phone number of "Iowa’s Missing and Exploited Children "( 712-252-5000 ) in the front of a phone book. We gave them a them a call. Ten minutes after giving them a call, we were meeting with a Mr. Ed Williams, who after taking a report, he made just one phone call and within 20 minutes a group of 10 to 20 people were in the office, older people, teenagers, housewives, even a couple of grandparents. After going over the details, he made copies of our flier and the group "HIT THE STREETS". Over the next 5 days, they were there checking out every lead. (Even the ones that were a little dangerous. ) It turned out that this missing teenager had gotten hooked up with some REAL BAD guys. Once it started getting real dangerous, Mr. Williams, pulled his people off the streets, but he continued to go with us, with more than just a little risk. To make a long story short, we ended up finding the girl in another state, thanks to a tip the we received from a TV spot that Mr. Williams got for us. Something that I’ll never forget about this is event… That first meeting with Mr. Williams, my friend wanted to know if they charged a fee? When she was told no, she wanted to know if they took donations? All Mr. Williams said was, "Never when we’re helping someone.." I have always wanted to pay him back for the service he gave, and the risks he took. Then I found this here link. It’s for the National Missing and Exploited Children" I’m not sure if the group in Iowa is connected to this one (I am checking) but I know he wouldn’t care. All he cares about is finding missing kids. So I want to ask all of you with a web page to PLEASE go to the site and click on the "How can I help" button, copy the html code, and paste it to a page on your site.




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Revised: April 22, 2000.