At Pema-Pier, we’ve always placed a premium on giving back. Whether helping to rebuild homes after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston or helping a disabled veteran get his house back after a devastating fire – we understand there are more important things than our day-to-day business operations.
After much discussion and careful consideration, we decided our latest charity we wanted to partner with would be the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). You may have seen a social media post or two about them in our various channels, but we’d like to take this time to discuss why we chose them – and why you should too. In 2017 alone, the NCMEC responded to 10,093 reports of possible child sex trafficking. That’s over one report every hour, every day, for the entire year.
NCMEC takes the lead in raising awareness, creating solutions, influencing legislature, and above all else, assisting families who have the misfortune of finding themselves in this awful predicament. And they do this 100% free of charge and 100% by way of voluntary donations. We at Perma-Pier have committed to providing a percentage of our profit from every job as well as partnering with NCMEC for upcoming events to help bring missing children home.
At our core, while we may just appear to be fixing foundations, Perma-Pier is really in the business of providing peace of mind and family safety. These values are very important to us, which is why we feel an organization like the NCMEC should get all the help they can. So, why did we chose to the NCMEC? Two reasons:
First off: Children.
Regardless of your station in life, your economic and social strata – your children are vulnerable. They go to school. They go out with family and friends. They grow up and hang out with their own friends. We simply cannot be there to watch over them and ensure their safety every minute of every day. Sadly, in this day and age, there is an ever-growing threat (both internationally and locally) intent on taking advantage of those who cannot yet defend and think for themselves as well as adults can – our children, your children. To help prevent abduction and exploitation, the NCMEC provides several resources and tools for parents to review with their children BEFORE there’s an issue:
- Kidsmartz.org: Free safety program that educates families about preventing abduction & empowers kids in grades K-5 to practice safe behaviors. Has age-appropriate videos, printables, tips, music, etc.
- Netsmartz.org: An interactive educational program that teaches basic internet safety. Age-appropriate resources to teach children how to be safer online.
- Newsmartz411.org: A great resource for parents & guardians answering questions about internet safety, computers, and the like.
- Removal of Explicit Content: A how-to guide to have inappropriate pictures taken down from the Internet
The second reason we chose the NCMEC? Parents
The other – often overlooked – half of the tragedy are the parents of missing children. There are various stages of grief, anger, confusion, and hopelessness a parent goes through when they find their child is missing, and NCMEC is there to support them every step of the way. From critical advice on what to do at the outset, to providing a 24-hour call center to connect parents with a case manager who will, among other things:
- Rapidly create and disseminate posters to help generate leads.
- Rapidly review, analyze and disseminate leads received on 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) to the investigating law enforcement agency.
- Communicate with federal agencies to provide services to assist in the location and recovery of missing children.
- Provide peer support, resources and empowerment from trained volunteers who have experienced a missing child incident in their own family.
- Provide families with access to referrals they may use to help process any emotional or counseling needs.
So we ask you to join us in helping the NCMEC in their fight against missing and exploited children. Like most charities, their ability to do the good they’ve set out to do is dependent upon donations. If you’d like to help, you can donate to the NCMEC here.
For more information on the NCMEC and what they are doing – and what you can do to help, please visit their official website: www.missingkids.com
Some quick facts about NCMEC and the work they’re doing (nationally and right here in Texas):
- Founded in 1984 as a private, nonprofit organization
- Serves as the national clearinghouse and resource center for issues of missing and sexually exploited children
- Their mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization
- During the last 34 years, NCMEC has received more than 4.8 million calls.
- NCMEC has circulated billions of photos of missing children, assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 284,000 missing children, and facilitated training for more than 356,000 law enforcement and child welfare professionals.
- NCMEC-TX focuses on preventing and reducing child sexual exploitation through safety education to families, schools, and the larger community in Texas. Our goal is to reach every city in Texas with our prevention education and training – because every child deserves a safe childhood.
- In 2017, there were 464,324 NCIC entries for missing children. According to DPS, 44,956 were from Texas.
- 88% are endangered runaways.
- 1 in 7 of the 25,000 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2017 were likely sex trafficking victims. 88% of these likely sex trafficking victims were in the care of social services or foster care when they went missing.
- Child sex tracking impacts girls and boys, all races and economic levels.
Finally, if you suspect a child is in danger, you can submit a tip here: http://www.missingkids.com/get-help-now/cybertipline