Big Search KC hopes to generate leads, find dozens of missing children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's estimated every 40 seconds, a child becomes missing or is abducted somewhere in the United States.

Right now, a major effort is underway right here in Kansas City to help families find answers about their missing children.

“Just feel like God has a hand in this today, and we’re going to go find some,” volunteer Chris Casey said.

Every picture and every name has a story. Behind it, there are families desperate for answers.

“I think they're desperate for hope but also desperate for action. They want to know something is being done about their child's case,” said Brad Dennis, national search director for Klaas KIDS Foundation.

And the longer a child is gone, the harder it becomes to keep leads coming to find them.

That's why efforts like the Big Search KC are so important.

“We want to put more feet behind it, more action behind it,” Dennis said.

Four organizations specializing in searching for missing kids have teamed up to get the Big Search KC off the ground. They're sharing information on 32 teens and young adults who haven't been spotted in weeks, months or even years.

“The strategic side of this is where would kids be going or where would someone have to take a child? So we are hitting all the hospitals, all the medical clinics, hotels. We are hitting wherever the shelters are and providing them also the books,” Dennis said.

More than 350 volunteers like Casey are coming together to help.

“It’s something I don't think you can imagine, wondering where your child might be or what is happening to them. I can't imagine much more horrifying than that,” Casey said.

Efforts like this have helped find missing kids around the country. And in Kansas City, the Big Search is already generating new tips about where some of the missing kids might be.

“We want you to come back home, and if home is not the right place, we want you to pick up the phone and call our hotline number, so we can get you the help that you need,” Dennis said.

If you want to get involved, you can go to Colonial Presbyterian Church at 95th and Wornall through 10 p.m. Thursday and again all day Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20, to volunteer.

And if you have any information on a missing person, you can call the Klaas KIDS Foundation hotline at 855-733-5567 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.