Monday, January 16, 2006

1/16/06 Miracles, Movies, and Television Shows

I believe that miracles come in all sizes and types. Some come out of the blue and are completely unexpected, and some are prayed for and hoped for, so therefore, may not be a surprise, although these are certainly a joy and blessing. Some sneak in unnoticed and some take time to be complete, much like a delicate fruit ripening on the vine.

I believe it is acceptable to pray for one, but never to demand or even expect it. Often times, there is help in procuring a miracle from earthly sources.

This past Friday the 13th was a quiet day, mostly spent at home. It marked another month since we last saw Jason so many years ago now. There were no miracles occurring on that day, at least none of which I knew.

That evening, my husband and son were both at work and I was home alone. I had rented a movie and it was due to be returned, so I thought it seemed like a good time to watch it and take a break from my work.

The movie was called “Saint Ralph”. It is a Canadian film released last year. I had never heard of it before, but it sounded interesting when I picked it up at the rental store.

It is the story of a 14 year-old boy whose mother has cancer and whose father died many years before. The boy is mischievous, and is always getting into some sort of trouble at the Catholic boys school he attends. He nearly gets himself expelled on more than one occasion.

His mother goes into a coma, and it appears she may never awaken. The boy, Ralph, asks the priests how to get a miracle. Ralph wants a miracle to happen, which he believes will prompt his mother to come out of the coma.

Once again, he gets into trouble, and for his punishment, he is forced to work out with the school’s track and field team. It is here that he comes to believe that he can train for the Boston Marathon and win it, thus securing his miracle and bringing his mother out of her coma.

When his classmates learn of his beliefs, he is ridiculed, but Ralph doesn’t waiver in his efforts to train for the event. After a time, one of his teachers, Father Hibbert, sees the boy’s determination and talent, and decides to coach him. So, in this story, a miracle, or a potential one, gets help from other earthly citizens.

I rarely get tears in my eyes while watching a movie, but this one was different. It may have been the day in part, or the subject matter of the movie, and it also may have been the plain fact that it was just a darn good underdog story, to which I can relate. I won’t tell you how it ends, as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone who might decide to watch it. (not suitable for younger children)

The theme of earthly helpers in making miracles, whether small miracles or not, is ever-present in my work for Project Jason, and for all of those whom I interact with while doing this work.

Recently, we were pleased to announce that we are a referring agency for the television show “Missing” the nationally-syndicated weekly series from Telco Productions, Inc. This is a 30 minute show which features profiles of both missing children and adults from across the USA. This is the only show of this kind that we know of. Others have tried and failed to bring this type of show to the market. Others are still trying.

The success of a show like this depends on viewership. If advertisers feel there are sufficient viewers, they will advertise, which keeps the show going. It’s all about ratings.

While the show is on in numerous markets, as seen on this page , the air times are often not the best. In Omaha, it now airs at 4:30am. In several other cities, it is on in the middle of the night.

There are two main reasons, other than the inconvenience for those of us who already watch, to work for change in this regard.

1) Better air times means more viewers which in turn brings in more advertising revenue, which supports the show and keeps it on air.
2) Better air times means more viewers which means that more of these missing persons have a chance of location because of the exposure the show brings for their story.

What better reason to work together to help the show than the latter?

I asked the producer, Larry Dunn, with whom I correspond, to shed some light on what we can do to help. He responded:

“Calls and letters from viewers to the Program Director or General Manager of a station asking them to carry or to improve the time period of "Missing" can be very, very effective--the more letters, the better! Getting a local business interested in sponsoring the program is a great way to help get "Missing" on the air in a decent time period. Car dealerships are the lifeblood of local station advertising, so any connections there can be a big help. The bottom line to every Program Director is ratings, so getting as many people as possible to watch the show on a regular basis is a real help.

This is the time of year when stations are working on their schedules for next fall, so letters and petitions would be most effective over the next month or so.”

I ask our activist readers to take the time to check and see if "Missing" airs in your area. If it does, and it is on at a poor time, write or call the station as Larry suggests. If none of the stations in your area carry the show, write to them or call, asking them to carry it. Information of interest to station managers and advertisers can be found at

For persons who want to be helpers in making miracles that may possibly be responsible for even greater miracles, Larry has the following message:

“I would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies, missing persons organizations, broadcasters, sponsors, viewers and concerned individuals who have worked so hard to make "Missing" a success. Since its debut in the fall of 2003, "Missing" has featured more than 800 missing persons cases--we are happy to report that more than 300 of those missing individuals have been located. As we look forward to our fourth season this fall, we hope to place "Missing" on more stations and in better time periods, to bring greater attention to the plight of missing persons and their families. Thank you for your continuing support of "Missing".

Larry Dunn,
Producer, "Missing"
Telco Productions, Inc.”

Personally, I’d much rather write a letter or make a phone call than run in the Boston Marathon as Ralph did in “Saint Ralph”. Regardless of the method or means, miracles are always possible. I believe.


Blogger Shelley said...

Kelly, I saw that the show was listed as being on WTVF here, went to their schedule and did not find it, so wrote a letter to the station's program manager and told about the show,and asked WHY it isn't shown here. Maybe just maybe, that will help.

2:57 PM  

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