According to the FBI, 465,676 children were reported missing in 2016. That is nearly 1,300 children every day. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates more than 100 of those children are involved in “stranger abductions,” which means the child was taken by an unknown person.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. The department of Justice uses this day to commemorate the heroic acts of agencies, organizations and individuals in their fight to protect children from harm, to locate and return children to their families, and to help rehabilitate abducted and exploited children and their families. The South Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), part of Canopy Children’s Solutions, plays a critical role in helping to protect and rehabilitate children who have been abused and exploited along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The CAC specializes in forensic interviewing which allows a child to tell their story once, in their own words, and gives investigators the information they need through non-leading questions. The CAC then brings together a multi-disciplinary team (including law enforcement, child protection services, prosecutors, therapists, etc.) to prosecute the offender and help the child and family heal.

On Thursday, May 25, Canopy employees participated in the #RockOneSock campaign. The symbolism behind Rock One Sock comes from the concept of when a sock goes missing in the laundry, there is always hope of finding it. By wearing one sock, it helps to show that not only are these children missing, but are missed. This is a simple way to show support for missing children and their families and to offer in solidarity the message “there is always hope.”