Resources for families/loved ones of MISSING CHILDREN

HELP ID ME

Currently, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is assisting in over 700 cases of unidentified human remains. When human remains are found that are believed to belong to a child, NCMEC can assist law enforcement and medical examiners in the effort to give that child back their name. This process includes assisting in the collection and dissemination of DNA, dentals, fingerprints, and other unique identifiers to help determine the identities of these children. https://www.missingkids.org/theissues/helpidme Please click on the link to learn more about HELP ID ME and you may visit the Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/HelpIDMe/

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

NCMEC provides statistics and identifies risk factors for children with autism, red flags that a child may be a victim of sex trafficking, and a support system for families of missing and exploited children. Please visit the website at http://www.missingkids.org for more information.

Kid Smartz

To assist you in initiating healthy conversations with your children about safety and setting boundaries please visit www.kidsmartz.org

Code Adam

If you’re a property manager or business owner please visit http://codeadam.missingkids.org Code Adam was designed to help businesses, parks, government buildings and other establishments ensure that they have safety protocols in place to respond quickly and effectively to situations involving a missing child.

Instagram accounts dedicated to disseminating information about missing persons:

@missingkids

@blackandmissingfdn

@findourmissingpoc

@help_findme

@ebonyalert_

@find_gods_children

MISSING Children

When a loved one goes missing, especially a child, fear and panic set in and it is imperative for you to act quickly to assist in the safe recovery of your child.

On this show you’ll be presented with information to aid in making a missing person report, provided with some history on the origination of Amber Alerts, why they are issued, and a summation of the Ashanti Alert. As your host, I will also dispel some myths about who can, when you can, and how to report your loved one missing. I was able to speak to the founder of @FindOurMissingPOC Ms. Ebony Gray who shared her mission to help find and bring missing children of color home.

The original concept for this show was to initiate a conversation about the racial disparities among missing women of color and missing white women. When missing person cases are reported by the media, people of color are vastly under represented. However, instead of stating the main reason that I deemed obvious I didn’t. I thought this conversation would be more impactful by not doing that and instead providing information and resources to help our most vulnerable: children. For starters, there are a several types of emergency alerts issued by law enforcement to aid in the search and recovery of missing persons of all ages.

  1. Amber Alert: AMBER Alerts are activated in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of a missing child.  These alerts are broadcast through radio, TV, road signs, cellphones, and other data-enabled devices. http://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/amber
  2. Ashanti Alert Act: The Ashanti Alert, like the other alert systems, would notify the public about missing or endangered adults, ages 18-64, through a national communications network to assist law enforcement in the search. http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/12/sen-warner-praises-final-passage-of-ashanti-alert-act This law was passed December 2018; however, it has not been implemented.
  3. Silver Alert: The Silver Alert system was initially created to help protect missing persons who have cognitive impairments, particularly the elderly. In most states the Silver Alert applies to the elderly, adults with a mental impairment, or both, depending on the state. The goal of the Silver Alert system is the quick dissemination of information about missing persons to law enforcement personnel as well as to the general public. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24051596/
  4. Blue Alert: Blue Alerts aid in the apprehension of violent criminals who have killed, or seriously injured an officer in the line of duty. Blue Alerts can also be issued when a suspect poses an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement, or when an officer is missing in the line of duty. https://cops.usdoj.gov/bluealert

Now that we know the types of alerts that are available, why aren’t they issued more often for persons of color when they go missing? The provision of as much information as possible can’t be stressed enough. I can’t pinpoint the WHY exactly; however, I’ve made some observations and learned a few things while researching this topic. Now, I’ll state what I think is the obvious.

  1. Racism. Black lives and the lives of people of color aren’t as valued as our white counterparts, especially white women by law enforcement or the media.
  2. Distrust of law enforcement. Many families are reluctant to contact police immediately due fear that an encounter may go awry.
  3. Immigration status. Residents who are not citizens may not contact law enforcement at all due to fear of deportation and separation of the family.
  4. Limited finances and limited awareness of resources. It costs money to make fliers, t-shirts and post billboards which may not be expenditures families can afford. In other instances, families can’t afford to miss work to conduct extensive searches. Often, families may not be aware of who to contact in addition to the police.

About 14% of US children are black, but black kids account for more than a third of missing child cases. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/03/us/missing-children-of-color-trnd/index.html Now, let’s delve into what can be done to increase the visibility of missing people of color. It is imperative to provide as much information about your child or loved one as possible, from physical description (including clothing worn) to person last seen with (and their description), as well as a recent photo, how long missing and whether or not they are in imminent danger. A child being in imminent danger is the determining factor in whether an Amber Alert is issued or not. Remember the more information you provide the more effective an emergency alert will be. Don’t soley depend on law enforcement. After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST(1-800-843-5678). http://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/isyourchildmissing. Let people know that your child or loved one is missing, utilize social media. Organize groups inclusive of your family, friends, colleagues, fellow worshippers, and neighbors to help search for and find your child. Contact the local media (news stations, newspapers, and radio stations) to help disseminate information. If money is required to produce, fliers, t-shirts, post billboards create a crowdfunding campaign through sites like http://www.gofundme.com Most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!

For additional resources to aid in initiating conversations about safety, assistance with the search and recovery of your child or loved one, and for support of families of missing and exploited children please visit the RESOURCES tab.

Thank for your time and attention…be safe!

Saran Almond

Please feel free to leave a comment or make a suggestion for future topics. You may use the Contact Us form to request an interview or to book Saran Almond for speaking engagements.

All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinion of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter.

How do you Volunteer?

IMG_0602

At some point in our lives we all need a helping hand.  What better way to show gratitude than to help someone else.  Whether it’s time or money, every effort helps.  So often I hear people say they don’t have a talent or they don’t know what they want to do with the rest of their life.  As disheartening as this sounds, I believe an answer can be found through volunteering.  Volunteering provides opportunities for adventure, exploration, and discovery.  While applying skills you already have or developing new skills you can make a difference.  Here are a few reasons why everyone should volunteer according to Volunteer Match

  • Help others
  • Make a difference
  • Find purpose
  • Enjoy a meaningful conversation
  • Connect with your community
  • Feel involved
  • Contribute to a cause that you care about
  • Use your skills in a productive way
  • Develop new skills
  • Meet new people
  • Explore new areas of interest
  • Meet good people
  • Impress your mom
  • Impress yourself
  • Expand your horizons
  • Get out of the house
  • Make new friends
  • Strengthen your resume
  • Feel better about yourself

Some other reasons include: The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. When you do good for others and the community it provides a sense of accomplishment. Volunteering can help shape character, fuel your passion, and create other opportunities.

If any of these reasons hit home for you, and you need help finding volunteer opportunities LOOK NO FURTHER.

My favorite volunteer resource is www.volunteermatch.org, and they’re national.

Other resources for volunteer opportunities are listed as follows:

  1. www.idealist.org
  2. www.dosomething.org
  3. www.volunteer.gov
  4. www.universalgiving.org
  5. www.createthegood.org

Tune in to the show How do you Volunteer? to hear what motivates others to volunteer.

What’s your best volunteer memory?  I’ll show you mine next week.

Please like/share/comment/SUBSCRIBE

 

 

The Assessment

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 12.54.46 AM

 

When you’re in the midst of a storm (storms that life sometimes bring) you have to make an assessment, a self assessment.  Take inventory of all the things that you have and the things that are required to get you through it.  This is an evaluation of your character, your perseverance, your goals, your habits, and a gamut of other things that may be required for your storm.  One of the most important assessments is that of those around you, your inner circle.  If you don’t have one, think of the people you talk to most and those with whom you spend the most time.

In recent conversations with a few people, I heard them speak louder than ever in their silence.  The silence spoke doubt and reeked of judgement.  It’s crazy, the closer I look at my surroundings it makes me ever so aware of who I really am.  A girl with a dream and no drive?  A woman with talent and excuses to match?  A person wasting away trying to keep up with the Kardashians or the Jones’…you pick.  Or maybe, just maybe I’m in a delusional competition…one in which my competitors aren’t even aware that I’m in the game.

On occasion, I find myself asking people what kind of person they think I am?  I remember a time where I didn’t care what anybody thought.  In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter…but it does.  No matter what you do or how you do it someone is going to judge you, not agree, criticize, request or expect more.  However, the energy you receive is also the energy you exude.  See, it’s not about acceptance or approval.  It’s about doing the things that you enjoy, and give you purpose.  It’s about creating the best life for yourself.  It’s about surrounding yourself with people and things that will help you reach your potential.  While it doesn’t really matter what people think about you.  It does matter what they think about themselves and how they weather their own storms, and it’s subsequent impact on you.

As you complete your assessment ponder this: Am I the person I intend to be?  This is not a question about how kind and considerate you are.  This is a question about WHO you are and what you want out of life.  In your quest to become the person you intend to be consider your own drive and motivation as well as that of your inner circle.  Think about the what and WHO are required in your time of storm. Your inner circle must consist of people who possess the traits and characteristics of the person you intend to be.  If not, you’re going to need more than an umbrella to weather that storm.

 

 

 

Reinvention

one-way-street-1113973_1920

 

Have you ever been in a bad situation, knowing that you should leave and you stayed? Unhealthy relationships, dead-end jobs, lapses in judgement, procrastination, etc, etc.  It’s funny how easy it is for us to get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It’s strange but true for many of us, including myself.  With this on my mind, it became very apparent that I need to do something different so that I can achieve something different.

From the very beginning I’ve had this vision of what my show would look like.  Although, I’m very proud of my show and what I’ve been able to accomplish I still haven’t created the show I envisioned.  As I sit here with a myriad of ideas feeling like I’m not making any progress, I watch the number of my YouTube views plummet with each new show.  All while my counterparts seem to be doing amazing.  My thoughts as I make my observations are, “Do I really have to be the butt of the joke, contribute to the overload of celebrity gossip, start rolling my eyes and sucking my teeth with hands flailing?”  After taking note of what I don’t want to become.  I took note of what is working for them.  Enter the reinvention of ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?’  I’m sure you’ve been here before.  Feeling like you have to do something but you just don’t know what to do.

So, what would she do? She spoke to her sister who made a suggestion.  I must admit, I didn’t receive what she told me right away because of course I’ve had this vision from the beginning, and I want to do it my way.  Then I asked myself a question.  Is there only one way to achieve your goals?  The answer for both you and me is NO. If there is more than one way to do a thing and the one way you’ve been doing it isn’t working why not try another way and see how that works.

The next step is to get out of my own way.  What needs to happen now? I need to do something NOW starting right NOW.  No more excuses about not having: enough time, enough resources, a good support system, etc, etc. I am a person of action, and there is no time like the present.  Why? Because tomorrow isn’t promised.  We all have the same number of hours in a day.  The difference between those who live their best lives and see their dreams to fruition and those who don’t is commitment to achieving goals, tapping into your resourcefulness, being honest with yourself, and taking action NO EXCUSES.

We can keep going in the one way direction that is leaving us unfulfilled or dare to step out on faith and try another way, and perhaps another way until we reach our destiny.  Be inspired by who you can become.  Be inspired by possibilities.  Life is about choices.  Choose to live your best life starting now.  The only limit you have is YOU…so get out of your own way and go for it!!!

~Saran Almond

Twitter: WWsD_theshow

Instagram: JustForSaran

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The month of October is nationally recognized as

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH.

domestic-violence-stopEvery 9 seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States.  On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.  The statistics on domestic violence are alarming, and easy to forget and/or ignore if it’s not happening to you or someone you know.  Many times even when we or someone we know are affected by domestic violence we remain silent.  Silence due to fear, shame, or hopelessness is understandable; however, we owe it to ourselves, our children, and our community to speak up.  Domestic Violence Awareness is about letting victims know that they are not alone, that we as a community care, and there are people and resources available to help make the transition from victim to survivor.

A couple of months ago, a young lady sent me an email asking me what she needed to do to get a restraining order against her abusive boyfriend.  I didn’t have an answer at the time; however, my goal is to enlighten and empower our viewers.  So what I didn’t know, I found out and produced a show entitled “DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Restraining Orders.”  I spoke to victims, survivors, community leaders, and subject matter experts to provide informational guidance to our viewers.  While laws vary from state to state, and the information provided should not be substituted for legal advice I have compiled local (Charlotte, NC) and national resources for victims, survivors, and their children.  Please go to our resources tab and select Domestic Violence for more information.

I’ve lost 3 friends to domestic violence.  There is no power in silence.  Say something, do something…before it’s too late!

Women’s Heath and Wellness

womens_health_wellnessThe topic at hand is women’s health and wellness. I chose this topic to address some of the issues that lead to chronic illness and disease such as poor diet, little to no exercise, and stress.  Today, women take on many more responsibilities when it comes to home, career, and family.  Often times while women are caring for everyone else they neglect themselves and specifically their health.

In March 2015, I visited a health and wellness expo at the Levine Senior Center in Matthews, NC sponsored by Novant Health.  My observation at this and many other expos is that many of the attendees tend to be older people.  I think it’s vital to address our health by taking proactive measures as opposed to being reactive once there is a diagnosis.  Health and wellness expos provide a wealth of information, and they address a wide range of issues from the common cold to weight loss to cancer, among other things.  At this expo, I received some great information from doctors who spoke on the topics of heart disease and menopause.  I also conducted a one on one interview with a holistic health and wellness coach who provided some great information on healthy eating and healthy living.  I’ll be sharing all of this information with you so that we all can feel better and live better.

New Beginnings

On this show I spoke to Pastor Artie Thomas of Harvest Outreach Ministry and addressed issues of love and compassion for thy neighbor, homelessness, unemployment and faith. The heart of the matter is a message of encouragement to never give up. Some times we get down when life doesn’t go as planned, I have been guilty of that myself. I was touched by the strength and unyeilding faith of the people I spoke with. We have so much to be grateful for in the midst of our storms, and there is always an opportunity to be a blessing. It’s never too late to start a new path or move in a new direction. Be enlightened, and be encouraged by ‘New Beginnings’ on ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?

For more information about Pastor Artie Thompson and Harvest Outreach Ministry please select Pastor Artie Thompson on our guest tab.