Today is National Missing Children's Day. May 25th was declared National Missing Children’s Day in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. Although, 1983 commemorated a special day for the Nation to focus on the issues surrounding missing children in America, one case in particular was the beginning of the missing children movement. That case began on May 25, 1979 with the disappearance of Etan Patz.
Etan’s father a professional photographer used his skills to keep his son’s disappearance in the media throughout the years following his son’s disappearance. Etan Patz was the first missing child to appear on the side of a milk carton. Sadly, this case just recently came to fruition and previously was America’s longest cold case involving a missing child.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has kicked off a new campaign “In honor of National Missing Children's Day” and “encourages you to take 25 minutes to help make children safer”. The “Take 25” campaign is encouraging and challenging everyone to take 25 minutes to talk with children about personal safety.
The NCMEC website asks, “Does finding 25 minutes to talk to your children about safety seem impossible?” In order to help facilitate a conversation with your children they have provided a “conversation starter” available in both English and Spanish based on specific age groups. The goal is to educate children on how to be safe, rather than frighten them about how big and dangerous the world seems at times.
The “Take 25” campaign is actually part of the NCMEC’s 5,000 hours challenge. Anyone can “Join the Challenge”. If you are willing to spend 25 minutes, initiating a conversation about safety with a child or children you can help the NCMEC reach their goal of 5,000 hours. If you are a teacher or a caregiver, this is a wonderful activity to raise awareness on how to make good decisions when online or playing in the neighborhood. Please consider taking the pledge to help raise awareness on having a safe summer.