National Child Safety Council is perhaps best known for its efforts to address the nationwide tragedy of missing and abducted children. It was discovered that in most incidents of abduction the children were being taken out of state, and oftentimes across the country. In an effort to help law enforcement safely recover these children, NCSC created the Missing Children Milk Carton Program.
In December of 1984, NCSC initiated the first nationally coordinated Missing Children Milk Carton Program, which within weeks, was implemented by over 700 independent dairies across the nation through the cooperation of milk carton manufacturers, including: Potlatch, International Paper, Westvaco, Champion, & Weyerhauser.
Photographs and biographies of missing children were placed on millions of milk carton side panels, bringing the faces of abducted children and the reality of this national disaster directly to countless Americans and individuals worldwide.
As with all NCSC Programs, all the layouts and camera-ready artwork are supplied by the Council without charge of any kind to carton manufacturers thus, allowing photographs and biographies to be placed on hundreds of millions of milk carton side panels.
Hundreds of national, regional, and local businesses, too numerous to mention individually, later joined the program by donating space on packaging or printing informational flyers, posters, and other handouts to help our nation's missing children efforts.
After realizing the success of the missing children photos and Safetypup® Prevention Tips on the milk cartons, in January of 1985, National Child Safety Council joined forces with grocery bag manufacturers as a means of circulating photos of missing children as well as Safetypup® child safety messages. They were distributed to the public by the billions by various paper and plastic bag manufacturers, including the 4 largest in the United States.
Missing children's pictures and Safetypup®'s safety messages were introduced by the 4 largest grocery bag manufacturers and others, including:
- Duro Paper Bag Manufacturing Company
- Westvaco - Bag Division
- Union Camp Corporation
- Harlem Paper Product Corporation
- Twin County Corporation (which distributes to Foodtown, D'Agoonstino, & more)
Various layouts were provided by NCSC that included Safetypup® and his preventive tips that were targeted toward parents and their children. Feedback from the public reported that the bag panels were cut out and kept to develop thorough reference listings as new photos and biographies were printed.
As NCSC became successful in publicizing missing children and safety tips on milk cartons, paper bags, plastic bags, flyers, and posters, it soon caught the attention of telephone directory companies. Soon many telephone directory companies became concerned about child safety as well, and wanted to participate in the program.
Many requested layouts of prevention tips and pictures of Safetypup® to educate children about the safety rules they need to know to prevent an abduction from happening. Many chose to place their layouts in the advertisement sections of their publications.
In 1986, National Child Safety Council was asked to help develop a brochure in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, under Elizabeth Hanford Dole, the Secretary of Transportation at that time. The brochure "Kids & Teens In Flight" outlined safety rules for parents concerning children flying unattended. There were 1,360 brochures printed between the years of 1986 and 1988.
This program was implemented by:
New York Airports
New Jersey Airports
Norfolk Port & Industrial Authority
Tuscon Airport Authority
Northwest Orient Airlines
Pan Am Airlines
Republic Airlines TWA
American West Airlines
NCSC supplied participating utilities with photographs and biographical information on children listed in the Abducted Children Directory®, along with preventive safety tips which are used as "stuffers" in millions of monthly bills, newsletters, and posters. Many companies had listings on the sides of their service vehicles to increase awareness.
A public service campaign, Bring Them Home America®, was sponsored by Home Shopping Club (HSC®), a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Shopping Network, to help locate America's missing children and reunite them with their families. HSC® provided a program free-of-charge, featuring 120 biographies of missing children, Safetypup® public service announcements, and safety tips. The 30- and 60-minute programs were distributed to over 245 local cable systems and over 35 million households across the country.
Bring Them Home America® was first showcased on Home Shopping Club in 1991 on Christmas Day. The program was aired all day in lieu of regularly scheduled programming and continued for several years, gaining momentum and popularity.
The program was a finalist for the 1994 Golden Cable ACE Award, the cable industry's most prestigious honor for special programming.
CompuServe and Quick Pictures Forum
The combined efforts of National Child Safety Council, CompuServe, and Quick Pictures Forum made it possible for law enforcement departments throughout the world to easily access a database, the first of its kind, containing the portraits and descriptions of abducted children.
Abducted Children Directory®
In 1984, NCSC introduced the new Abducted Children Directory® containing the first comprehensive free-of-charge listing of abducted children. It was delivered to all police and sheriff departments, state police headquarters, and FBI offices; all governors and attorneys general nationwide; and to the U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
In 1985, The Missing Children Directory® was distributed to Principals of public and private schools in the U.S. This cooperative venture between NCSC and QSP, a subsidiary of the Reader's Digest Association, Inc., involved virtually every school district in the U.S. In support of the effort, NCSC operated a 24-hour-a-day 800 hotline, through which dedicated and fully trained professional specialists received missing children sighting reports.