Guest Author - Rev. Jackie OŽNeal S.T.M.
Madeline McCann, the four year old who disappeared on May 3rd from a Portugal vacation villa, continues to receive visibility through her family's tireless search efforts.
Her uncle, John McCann has teamed up with a charity in the United Kingdom, Missing People to re-launch the organization in honor of Missing Children's Day, celebrated on May 25th.
The charity uses direct mail to raise awareness about missing adults and children in the United Kingdom and is the only one of its kind to do so, in England. Missing People does outreach to young runaways and provides a Runaway helpline which operates 24 hours a day. In addition, Missing People's program, Identification is designed for persons needing help in resolving cases of unidentified people either living or deceased.
Established in 1986, in southwest London, the services offered by the charity grew by leaps and bounds. As a result, Missing People was registered as a charity in 1993 with the blessing of the late, Princess Diana of Wales.
In its early days, the charity was referred to as The National Missing Persons Helpline. Only recently has the charity changed its name to reflect its true mission. Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Missing People explained to The Richmond and Twickenham Times that the charity changes its name to demonstrate it was much more than just a helpline, and also to help establish itself as an authoratative voice on missing people.
As of now, the McCann family believe Madeline is still alive, and therefore they continue to search for her and raise awareness about her plight and the plight of other missing children around the world.
It is estimated that 1,550 Missing people cases were resolved in 2006. In nine out ten cases, the missing were found alive.
Missing People as a charity has established a working rapport with the police forces in England and Wales. In sum, it is estimated 44% of the cases handled by Missing People are referred by the police department.
John McCann told the Richmond and Twickenham Times that since Missing People has taken Madeline as a case, the family has been helped in keeping Madeline's case high profile.
For more information: http://www.missingpeople.org.uk
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