Along the Tracks

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Make family reunions a priority

With the continuing bureaucratic bungling we see in the response to Katrina, some crucial work is getting less than the attention it deserves.

Hundreds of children rescued in the confusing aftermath of the disaster in New Orleans are frightened and separated from their parents.

The National Center for Missing and Abused Children has a web page devoted to bringing families back together, and they should be honored for their efforts. However, most families displaced by Katrina do not have web access. Even the parents who can get online, along with the aid workers and volunteers most likely to recognize names and faces, only have so much time and opportunity to do so.

It dawned on me as I watched a bit of the Michigan-Notre Dame game today that the networks and cable channels could play a powerful role in getting these children back in the arms of their parents. Why couldn't the networks run a scroll at the bottom of the screen with photos and names, along with a number to call if a viewer recognizes one of the children? After all, news, finance and weather alerts run at the bottom of the screen all the time. Why not run something truly valuable?

I hope readers and other bloggers will do their part to get this idea noticed. With a united effort, maybe these kids can enjoy the safety of their moms and dads in the next couple days.

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