Paying It Forward

 

MBDAs we rapidly approach the Holiday season, I want to share a story that exemplifies how creative partnerships can pay it forward, making everybody a winner in the game of life.

 

My friends Pam and Irving recently purchased a new home in Northern California. That purchase triggered a very generous donation to the KlaasKids Foundation, in their name, and it didn’t cost them a thing.

 

Pam and Irving utilized the services of a unique real estate service called My Broker Donates. My Broker Donates is a for-profit organization that connects home buyers and sellers to successful, reputable real estate agents. They then arrange for 15% of the agent’s commission to be donated to a charity chosen by the agent’s client. In Pam and Irving’s case that translated to more than $1,200 to the KlaasKids Foundation.

My Broker Donates 2 11-13

Accepting Donation Check From My Broker Donates CEO Jack McLaughlin

This unique approach to home buying and selling represents charitable giving at its best. It pairs motivated clients with a seasoned real estate agent. Once the transaction has been initiated everybody wins. The agent wins because he or she makes a commission that they otherwise would not have received. The client wins because they know that they are dealing with a professional real estate agent with a proven track record, giving them piece of mind knowing that their time and money will be maximized. They also arrange a generous zero-cost donation to their favorite charity. The charity, in this case the KlaasKids Foundation, wins because they are the beneficiaries of a generous donation. Finally, the charity’s clients win because the charity has working capital dedicated to providing needed services.

 

Are you planning on buying or selling a home soon? If so, why not give My Broker Donates a call first. Oh, and don’t forget to include your favorite charity, the KlaasKids Foundation.

 

Missing Kids on Facebook

Bryce

We see and hear about these stories all the time. Some hideous pervert, masquerading as Johnny Cool, befriends a young girl on Facebook and entices her to a clandestine meeting at a remote location. By the time she realizes that she has been duped it is too late. We then read the disturbing results online or watch the grisly aftermath on Nancy Grace or any of a number of True Crime television shows. Well, that’s not what this is about. This is about how Facebook has become the milk carton project of the 21st Century.

 

The most enduring symbol of the missing child issue is the flyer. They have been with us ever since 4-year-old Charlie Ross was kidnapped in front of his Germantown, PA home on July 1, 1874. Since then very few things have changed. Flyers are printed on paper, and people post them in storefronts and on telephone poles. As technology advances, so do the places that you will find missing child flyers. First they were in newspapers, then on TV, and now on the Internet. For a short time in the early 1980’s they were even reprinted on milk cartons.

 

Polly was the Internet’s first missing child. But, instead of that representing an evolutionary step forward the Internet simply became another missing child flyer destination. The only difference is that instead of taping them to telephone poles, various organizations stacked missing flyers like cordwood on their website.

 

BM WebsiteIn 2001 I co-founded BeyondMissing.com, to provide law enforcement with a cost effective, efficient means of using the Internet to create and distribute missing flyers to targeted recipient lists. This was the first time that missing flyers were able to be easily created and distributed en-mass by America’s law enforcement community. Although the program had a 95% recovery rate lack of Federal and industry rival support forced us to shut our doors earlier this year. The BeyondMissing parent flyer tool has been accessed and utilized over 3,560 times by families and organizations searching for a missing child, and will be available on KlaasKids.org in the very near future. BeyondMissing was evolutionary in that it represented the first and only option beyond print media utilized to create and mass distribute missing flyers.

 

Facebook has changed all that. Instead of a static, forlorn photograph staring  back at you from a missing poster, Facebook has enabled the families and supporters of missing persons to post multiple photo’s, videos, links to news stories, and testimonials from friends and family in one easy to reach destination. Missing person Facebook pages are not static so they can be updated in real time. Pending fundraising events or press conferences can be advertised, as can case updates. There are missing person communities on Facebook that share missing pages far and wide. They talk about the kids, create forums, share ideas and find commonalities. There is no charge for this dynamic, user friendly application.

 

LinneaMy advice to anybody with a missing child is to use the Facebook advantage. You don’t have to be particularly computer savvy, and in fact you don’t even really need a computer. FedEx Office (formerly Kinko’s) has all of the hardware and software tools, including online access that you need to create a missing person FB page. If you still don’t feel that you have the skill set to accomplish this objective ask friends and family to help you.

 

Of course, there is a downside to all of this. There are no restrictions on who can create these pages. Unfortunately, I know of many cases where either fake or misleading pages have been posted.  People who have no attachment to the case and don’t even know the missing person or their family have also exploited this opportunity for one reason or another. Therefore, you must be careful and try to determine if the page that you have landed on is real, or is it fake!

 

I think that we can all agree that technology has and will continue to change the way we approach child safety and missing kids. However, Facebook above all other technologies or applications has evolved the imagery of missing children in ways that were unimaginable during the 20th Century.

Death Penalty: Fix It, Don’t Nix It!

 

ScumThe events that transpired during the 1996 death penalty trial of my 12-year-old daughter Polly’s killer were extreme, even for a death penalty case, but the events that have transpired in the 17 years since simply defy belief. No one, not even the defense, argued that Richard Allen Davis wasn’t the person who snuck into Polly’s bedroom in the late evening of October 1, 1993, tied, bound and gagged her girlfriends and stole her into the night. All agreed that he strangled and discarded her remains on a trash pile adjacent to a freeway off ramp in Cloverdale, CA in the early hours of the next morning. The points of contention were whether or not he raped my child and whether he committed the heinous crime of his own free will or if the Devil made him do it.

 

More of his life has been spent behind bars than on the street. He had been previously diagnosed as a sexually sadistic psychopath, and his endless rap sheet was filled with violent encounters, attempted sexual assaults and kidnappings. People would avoid him on the street because of his public drinking, prison tattoo’s, surly manner, or gruff language. He had no friends because he couldn’t be trusted, so he depended upon his duplicitous family for support.

 

He was three months out of prison, rehabilitated, and working a job that paid more than twice the minimum wage when he decided to murder my child. Prior to being released from prison he told cell mates that he would avoid AIDS by, “Getting a young one.” Kidnapping, raping and murdering my little girl was Richard Allen Davis’ definition of safe sex.

richarddavis3Evil exists and he epitomizes evil. When he was found guilty of killing Polly he turned toward the jury and stuck both middle fingers in the air. As the sentence of death was about to be imposed, he told the judge that he didn’t rape the little girl because she told him, “Don’t do me like my dad.” Apparently, the depths of his depravity have no boundaries.

 

Many good men and women who helped to solve the case have quietly passed since he was sentenced to death row seventeen-years ago. Should the glacial appeals process for Polly’s killer be exhausted there is a small, but determined group of individuals who will continue to lobby on his behalf. They decry the death penalty. They say that it is inhumane, that it is beneath us as a civilization, that it is immoral and that it costs too much. They have successfully denied the law and subverted the will of the people of California for far too long.

 

We need to exert our will and demand that justice be served. It has become apparent that this will never be accomplished through the California state legislature. Join me in supporting the Death Penalty Reform & Savings Coalition.