Truckers, groups, work to find missing and exploited children

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 5/22/2014

Truckers and advocacy groups are working hard to raise awareness of missing and exploited children. National Missing Children’s Day is Sunday, May 25.

The group Truckers Against Trafficking recently announced a new partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

“TAT has recently partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children regarding their High-Risk Child Poster listserv that increases the visibility of missing children at high risk for sex trafficking,” TAT Executive Director Kendis Paris told Land Line by email.

“We would love to see every Trucker Against Trafficking signed up so that they are able to receive these posters on a continual basis. Members of the trucking industry truly are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways and can be in a position to help bring these kids home. We urge everyone to check out (the website) and sign up today.”

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, approximately one in seven endangered runaways reported to the group is or was likely a victim of sex trafficking.

TAT promotes a hotline and other information for truckers to report trafficking activity.

Ribbons and headlights
Another group of advocates is urging truckers to fly yellow and blue ribbons and drive with their headlights on for National Missing Children’s Day.

Trucker and grassroots campaign organizer Dugal Trimble of Bellefontaine, Ohio, founded The Truckers Missing Child Project after being inspired by Truckers Against Trafficking.

Trimble uses social media to share alerts from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and to engage in dialogue with other truckers and groups.

“I ran across Truckers Against Trafficking a few years back, and that kind of opened my eyes to everything going on,” Trimble told Land Line. “Then I became a local truck driver and had more time to be on the computer, and I started sharing missing-child fliers online … Now everything goes on social media.”

Trimble has driven trucks since 2000. He is currently employed as a company driver with a local route.

“We’ve asked all truckers to display yellow and blue ribbons and drive with their headlines on in remembrance of National Missing Children’s Day,” Trimble told Land Line. “The yellow ribbon stands for the missing children and the blue ribbon stands for the fallen missing children that will never make it home. Our goal is to let the public know that yes, we as a community of truck drivers, do care and that we’re out there keeping an eye out for their missing children.”

As of Friday, May 22, The Truckers Missing Child Project had 1,471 “likes” on Facebook and 1,976 followers on Twitter.

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