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The world’s most valuable check-in


March 15, 2014
By Morley Lymburner

The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) successfully launched the first-ever online search party in 2012. Called the “world’s most valuable social network” the service supplies a way to alert the masses by reaching those most likely to report a sighting – the people nearest to where and when a child went missing.

The ‘world’s most valuable check-in’ is a digital tool that sends an alert to people at Foursquare locations closest to where a child abduction has taken place. The first three hours of a search are the most critical. You can now help authorities locate a child faster before the kidnapper gets too far away.

Created by Grey Canada, Milk Carton 2.0 allows MCSC to quickly notify users via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest of missing children in their area. What is truly unique about this offering is that it allows users to ‘donate’ their social feeds to engage all their friends in the search for a missing child. This domino effect allows MCSC to reach hundreds of thousands of Canadians within moments of an alert being issued.

This valuable service was directly responsible for assisting in the rescue of six missing children in the first five months alone.

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More than 45,000 children were reported missing in Canada in 2011 – that’s one child every 11 minutes. When a child first goes missing, police, media and the community all rally together to help the terrified and anxious family search, but as time goes by, that involvement inevitably decreases. It is for these families that the MCSC was established in 1986.

The MCSC is the only non-profit in Canada actively searching for missing children. It is 100 per cent funded by donations and provides its services at no cost to families.

Its unique and comprehensive programs serve families in the critical hours after a child goes missing and provides ongoing support until he/she is found. The MCSC has investigative programs that assist both police and searching families, mental health programs that help families deal with the emotional consequences of a missing child and critical awareness generating campaigns to provide essential support for searching families.

{How they do it}

Two things are needed for a child to go missing: time and anonymity. By removing those two key elements from the equation, MCSC helps more quickly return missing children home. Using technology, it is able to spread information faster and engage a greater number of Canadians in the search; they become volunteers and each and every one is critical to recovering that child. By uniting a country in the search for a missing child, MCSC is discouraging it from occurring – the more eyes in communities, the less likely an abductor will take a child. Supporting MCSC ensures it can continue to keep Canadians as informed as possible in an emergency – and prevent future abductions.

{Healing families}

The Family & Peer Support Program is run by an experienced professional counsellor who has previously built similar programs and worked with Canadian Mental Health. From one-on-one sessions to speaker series with industry professionals, the program is built for any family member experiencing emotional distress over a missing child – parents, grandparents, siblings or extended family. Supporting MCSC means helping these families to rebuild their lives.

{Empowering investigative teams}

MCSC investigators provide a critical service to family, law enforcement and other government agencies. They are internationally known experts on missing children. Important leads can come up at a moment’s notice and families lean on them for everything from mediation to navigating the legal and judicial systems.

Supporting MCSC means these investigators can do what they need to do – when they need to do it.

BIO

To donate, volunteer or learn more, visit www.mcsc.ca, e-mail info@mcsc.ca or call 403 291-0705.