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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AALC's mission: finding missing children

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mark Miller
He's a big man with an even bigger smile. He is also the man who was instrumental in reuniting a father and son Thursday evening in Salem.

Mark Miller is the founder of American Association for Lost Children, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 and based in Pennsylvania. AALC's mission is to physically search and recover missing children -- at no cost to the parents.

Miller said the idea to establish the association came after seeing a flyer about a missing child. He began doing research and found that missing children's groups were only resource centers. They did not physically search for missing children.

"I wanted to help missing children and make a difference," Miller said.

Since its beginning in 1987 Miller has helped reunite 125 children with their family. He credits his success to "guts, grit and good old fashioned detective work -- plus plenty of prayers and persistence."

AAFLC operates strictly on personal and business donations. Oreck Homecare Center in Greensburg, Pa., Wal-Mart in Latrobe, Pa., and vendors nationwide are listed on the AALC Web site as supporters.

"These innocent children, having been abducted, are the victims,"?Miller said on his Web site. "No longer do they have a life or a childhood. They are made to hide and live in constant fear of being discovered. Frequently their names are changed and their identity is taken away from them. Many times they are told their mom or dad is dead or that they no longer want them. Kidnapping is a form of child abuse. The children are the ones who really suffer."

As for the father and son reunion in Salem, Miller says, "Right now I'm feeling very blessed. I was able to help with something so wonderful. Even though I'm tired, I still feel energized. We're so blessed (Jayson) wasn't scared or nervous. He was excited to be back with his father and grandmother. It's rewarding to work on something so long and have everything work out like last night."

For more information about AALC or to make a donation to the organization call 800-375-5683 or go to their Web site at www.aaflc.org.

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