Press release from the issuing company
Livonia, Mich - Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, announced today that it will feature the names and faces of 145 missing children in a special 25th anniversary edition of its Have You Seen Me? program. The special edition of the RedPlum Shared Mail Wrap will be delivered to 44 million households across the country the week of May 23. It marks a 25-year partnership among Valassis , the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Since 1985, these organizations have joined forces to reunite missing children with their families.
To mark the silver anniversary of the Have You Seen Me? program, Valassis is featuring more children in one mailing than it ever has in a single week to heighten awareness to the plight of missing children. These children are targeted across the country to areas where law enforcement believes holds the greatest opportunity for recovery. Each of six zones features 25 children.
As a continuous weekly element across the RedPlum portfolio in the mail, the newspaper and online at redplum.com and valassis.com, the signature Have You Seen Me? program has fundamentally changed the way America searches for missing children. Of the more than 2,000 children featured in photo programs like this, more than 1,200 have been recovered.
"Through this special anniversary edition, a commitment from our clients and the expansion of our program, it is our hope and expectation that we can contribute to the safe recovery of even more children through our partnership with NCMEC and the U.S. Postal Service," said Alan F. Schultz, Valassis Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. " Valassis is proud to participate in such an important cause and remains steadfastly committed to its continued success."
Cherrie Mahan, the first missing child who appeared in 1985 as an 8-year-old is specially highlighted in each regional version. The powerful image of Cherrie, at the time she was abducted and in an age-progressed photograph of what she would look like today as a 33-year-old, is a reminder that no missing child is ever forgotten. Cherrie was abducted 100 yards from her home in the Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania area while she was getting off a school bus. She remains missing today.
Valassis and its 52 sponsoring clients are joining together with NCMEC and the USPS to call on the American public to take a moment and look at the faces of these missing children. We want to send the American public a clear message that they can make a difference in the life of a child and searching family by simply looking at those pictures and calling the NCMEC toll-free number, 1-800-THE-LOST (800 843-5678).
"Rite Aid has been a long-time sponsor and supporter of the Valassis Have You Seen Me? program," said Jim Pilsner, Rite Aid's Vice President, Advertising. "As a chain of neighborhood drugstores, I feel it is extremely important to be socially responsible and help with such a worthy cause. We will continue to be an active partner to raise awareness about the plight of missing children."
On behalf of these participating clients ranging from franchisees to grocery and drug retailers, auto service providers, restaurants and home services, to name a few, 100% of the money collected is being donated to NCMEC to further its ongoing efforts. Valassis is matching the $175,000 donation with an in-kind donation to produce and distribute this special edition. Additionally, in 2009, Valassis employees held fund raisers and donated $75,000 to NCMEC. This year, the employee fund raising continues with a commitment to match its 2009 donation.
"Partners like Valassis are a critical part of the work that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children does to help children lead safer lives," said Ernie Allen, NCMEC President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are grateful for their continued generosity and proud of our 25 years of working together to bring missing children home. We look forward to many more years of partnership."
"I'm proud of our Valassis employees' determination in making this program part of our corporate DNA and for using our products and core competencies in innovative ways to empower the American public to find missing children," said Vince Giuliano, Valassis Senior Vice President, Government Relations, and a member of the NCMEC Board of Directors. "Someone, somewhere, knows the whereabouts of these children. Hopefully, this special insert will stimulate the recovery of many of these children and bring an end to the unnerving longing experienced by searching families. Twenty-five years ago, it was hard to imagine the impact this program would have and the emotions it would stir. It is simple in design, powerful in result, yet profound in impact."
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