Alexandria The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a mixed private-government organization headquartered in Alexandria, has the enthusiastic support of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
Information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is found at www.missingkids.com or call
In a recent telephone interview, Snyder explained his personal commitment to activities involving child safety and health. One of his children was a "preemie." As with any premature birth, heightened medical care and attention was required. It was a period of anxiety for he and wife Tanya; they decided to focus charitable activities on issues involving all children. "Children are our legacy. They are the gifts we make to the future," he said.
Around the same time two decades ago, a business associate told Snyder about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and arranged a visit. Learning of the terrible things that can happen to children, things that still go on, "just tears your heart out," he said. He committed to support the center, support that continues today, including service on the National Advisory Board.
When the concept of a modern, 24 hours, 7 days a week, nation-wide operations center was floated, Snyder funded it. "With my business background in public relations and communications, it made sense and was a natural thing to do." Visitors are not admitted to the area staffed by law enforcement and social work professionals, but a plaque notes his contribution. Snyder is very comfortable with the fact it rarely is seen by outsiders.
As to the center's outreach safety program, called "Take 25," Snyder's opinion is one word: "Terrific." Creating awareness of dangers children face is of vital importance, he said. The annual program is tied to National Missing Children's Day each May 25. Parents and guardians are urged to take 25 minutes and talk with their children on ways to stay safe.
Asked to look into the future of the center, Snyder points to one external area needing improvement. "The media and knowledgeable members of the public must be drawn into paying more attention to the Center and its work," he said. Child safety should be one subject that all agree is of "critical importance" in society.