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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children adapts 2020 ride for pandemic

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has adapted its 2020 Ride for Missing Children in order to continue their mission to raise funds and build awareness amidst restrictions placed on physical gatherings due to COVID-19.

The organization’s traditional event, which consists of six bike rides that take place annually in the spring and fall, has been transformed into “Miles for Hope”, a month-long, nationwide awareness and fundraising mission to support NCMEC. This September, participants from across the United States can help raise awareness and funds while biking, running, walking, skating, swimming, kayaking, and even skipping.

“The Ride for Missing Children has always been about more than a bicycle ride.” said Ed Suk, Executive Director, NCMEC-NY, “This event is about raising awareness and spreading a message of safety education and of hope to the families of missing and exploited children.  This event is about raising critical funds to support our cause and with children spending more time online, away from schools and outside activities, the need is greater than ever.”

Whether you are participating as an individual or on a team, it’s easy to get involved with “Miles for Hope”, and a great time to focus on safety with your family, group or school. Participants are encouraged to take time throughout the month of September to reinforce safety with the children in their lives. NCMEC offers free resources for families and educators, including lessons, discussion guides, videos and more. Learn about the issues and get resources to help facilitate discussions and lessons around personal safety and internet safety.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

According to Debra Ortiz-Pardi, NCMEC/NY’s Outreach Manager the timing is right. “In light of COVID -19, children are spending more time with technology and with school starting up again, likely with a virtual component, safety conversations are as important as ever. The Miles for Hope daily tips and Real Tip videos will help families and schools to easily reinforce prevention messages.”

Registration is currently open there is no fee to join Miles for Hope.

Danielle Sir Louis, Special Event Manager for NCMEC/NY stressed that, “This year will be very different, but it will be meaningful and we’re so excited to get more people involved!  Even though we’ll be participating separately everyone is bound together by a singular mission – to make our children safer, one child at a time.”