Reuniting lost children with parents

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Salvation Army in Nevada hands out ID wristbands at the state fair.

by Carole Miller –

Reno Salvation ARmy Advisory Board member Shad Warren hands out ID wristbands to a long line of children at the Nevada State Fair. [Photo by Carole Miller]

Three children approached The Salvation Army mobile kitchen recently at the Nevada State Fair in Reno and said, “Our parents are lost!” Earlier that night, they had received ID wristbands from Salvation Army staff and volunteers, so when they became separated from their parents in the large crowd, they headed back to the Army’s mobile kitchen for help—just as they’d been instructed to do.

Major Doug Williams escorted them next door to the sheriff’s command post, and deputies were able to call the phone number written on the wristbands. “The dad was relieved when he was reunited with his kids and grateful to The Salvation Army for providing the service,” Williams said.

For three years, The Salvation Army in Reno has offered this free service providing wristbands to families with young children at the state fair. Parents write a cell phone number on the wristband so security personnel can reach the parents quickly if the kids get separated. A small tab with a matching numeric code is removed from the wristband and given to the parent. This tab provides identification when claiming the child, an important protection for young children.

In addition, the Reno Salvation Army offered written instructions on how parents can create a DNA collection kit for their child, including fingerprints, a hair sample and photo to be used in locating a lost or abducted child.

Army volunteers and staff handed out more than 2,000 identification wristbands during the fair’s five-day run.

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