COMMEMORATING 20 YEARS OF SEARCHING FOR OUR ‘HIDDEN POPULATION’

For Immediate Release
December 9, 2004

Everett, Washington – Twenty years ago, as they simply began helping parents of missing children hand out flyers, no one could have told Melody and Michael Gibson, founders of OPERATION LOOKOUT® National Center for Missing Youth, that the organization would grow into an award winning, local, national and international child-search center.

Operation Lookout is the only private nonprofit missing children organization serving Washington State and Governor Gary Locke sent a word of appreciation, “ I am pleased to extend congratulations to the board and staff of Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.  They have every right to be proud of all that they have achieved in the past two decades… I commend Operation Lookout for its dedication on behalf of vulnerable boys and girls in Washington and throughout our nation.  I also applaud the many individuals and groups who have helped to make this effort such a resounding success.”

Michael Gibson, founding president of OPERATION LOOKOUT® National Center for Missing Youth, said, “No parent wants to think that their child could become missing. And yet, we talk to these distressed parents everyday. It is vital that the public and the media become involved in the search for our ‘hidden population.’ Every missing child deserves a chance to be found and it begins with knowing WHERE TO TURN FOR HELP and HOW YOU CAN HELP.”

Gibson’s plea to the public is to take a few minutes to browse through the missing children photo directory on their Website. “The public can help a lot by downloading the posters and distributing them in public place. Many children have been found because they were recognized by alert teachers at schools, merchants at stores or neighbors who took the time to look at the photos.”

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