8/21/05 A Day in the Life of …
I wrote and sent out a press release for Mark Hamilton. You can read his story in the archives. It is called “I Long to See Your Face”. I sent it to 3 TV stations and 2 newspapers in St Louis. I also included the link to his story here. I just cannot fathom how someone could read that and NOT see the powerful human interest story within. Yes, I know I am biased, but surely those of you reading who do not live in the “not knowing” would agree. I told them it was the story of a hero, (Major Lowery) and of a mother who cannot forget her son.
And for those of you who have been following along, we did not get a single response from our press release about the missing deaf-mute black girl, Porcia Evans, from Washington, DC. I even sent out a reminder. The media in Washington, DC might be silent, but her mother will not. You will read her story in a future post.
I worked on writing some new segments and updates for the http://www.projectjason.org website. We’ll be showing you some new faces of the missing soon. We also are planning our fall calendar, which includes two local public events, as well as some fundraisers. I made a few phone calls to start the ball rolling with those. When we go to public events, we give out a wide range of safety brochures, our Personal ID Kits, and we also offer our Adopt a Missing Person program.
Speaking of the Adopt a Missing Person program, I did get a request in the mail. Thank you, Kim from Wisconsin for adopting Shania, Suzanne, Georgina, and Amanda. I will be mailing this to you tomorrow. For more information on our Adopt a Missing Person program, and how you can help the families of the missing, please see http://www.projectjason.org/adopt.html
A family contact emailed me about doing a press release very soon for a missing teenage boy. I called her and we spoke at length about the nature of the press release and the areas to target. She will be getting back to me with more details so that I can write it.
I spoke with 3 mothers of missing persons during this period of time.
With one, we talked about her plans in regards to action taken in her daughter’s case. We also had a conversation about the lack of media coverage for missing persons who do not fit the tight criteria of the national networks: pretty, female, and often blonde. She is working on this in her local area. Bravo to her and good luck!
The second mom is in the process of writing her blog interview questions for a story here. Some things have happened recently that she is going to add. I also think that many of our moms, once they get over the initial shock of losing the person whom they love, they often spring into action, and won’t stop on a dime. I told her she needed to write about that and to pour her heart out. She agreed.
And then finally, the third mom, who has a missing son, called me for advice on not only the search efforts, but on dealing with the day to day emotions that come with the territory. Her son has been missing for over a year, but she had never spoken to someone like me. I could hear the relief in her voice. It poured out in waves which matched the tears that also came.
People in her life are trying to tell her how she should feel and what she should do in regards to those feelings. They all mean well, but no one can tell someone who goes through this how they should be feeling. I gave her several suggestions, and emphasized that no matter how she was feeling, it was perfectly normal. I gave her suggestions that could help with feelings of anger, helplessness, and anxieties. It turned out that she had plans on doing something similar to one of my suggestions, and it was perfect for her circumstance. Her phone disconnected, she called back, we talked for awhile longer, and she cried some more. She needed that cry, I am sure of that.
A man with a missing father sent me an email asking for our help. It was a situation in which many years ago, the non-custodial mother took the children away from the father. I believe it had been 25 years, and now the man was trying to find his father. Police would not take his case because of the adult aspect of it and the time frame. I suspect they considered it to be a “lost touch” situation, especially in that the son did know where his father was a few years ago. He was long gone when the son found out his father’s whereabouts.
It breaks my heart to tell him that unless he has an open missing person’s case on file with a law enforcement agency, we cannot help him.
I explained this to him in my response, and in addition, gave him several suggestions on what more he can do: “I do want you to know that we do care about all missing persons, however, our hands are tied when it comes to "officially" helping in cases when the police will not take a report. Because of laws pertaining to the privacy and rights of adults, and the fact that adults can become missing if they so desire, we cannot actively help. What could happen is that that person, if he/she saw we posted their photo, or is taking other steps to find them, could take legal action against us. One such lawsuit could bring an end to our organization and the assistance we give to thousands of missing persons.”
He had attached some photos of his father that were of poor quality. I used a software program and did some brightening and cropping and attached them to the return email.
I probably answered about 50-75 emails throughout the course of the day about various cases and issues.
I went to bed at about 1:30am, which is actually early for me.
I’ll be back late tonight with another story.