Klaas Kids Foundation helps Augusta parents protect kids

By: Stephanie Baker Email
By: Stephanie Baker Email

March 3, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Marc Klaas started the Klaas Kids Foundation after his daughter was kidnapped and murdered back in 1993. Now he's using his personal experience to help families. He came out to the new H.H. Gregg in the Augusta Exchange to talk to parents and guardians and help them get identification kits for their children.

Cathaleen Shields came to protect her granddaughter.

"I just want her to be safe," she said. "It's scary!"

"You never know when something's going to happen," said grandmother Jean Wood. "While we're out, anybody could pick them up or anything else."

That's why families and children of all ages lined up throughout the day to get a do-it-yourself dna kit, laser-scanned fingerprints, and a digital picture.

It all went on a form called a biodoc. Then parents filled in the blanks with personal details.

"You want to make sure the police have every piece of information they need to do what ever they need to do," Klaas said.

Marc started doing this after losing his daughter Polly back in 1993. She was kidnapped from a slumber party, raped, and murdered.

"We want to make some meaning out of this whole experience," he said. "We want our child to be more than a statistic."

In 74 percent of cases where the abducted child is murdered, it happens within three hours. That's why Marc's arming families with fast access to information that could save lives.

"If she was ever taken, it would drive me nuts, and I'd have something to be able to find her," said parent Heather Brown.

"I think it's an important thing to do, because I want to make sure she's okay," said Cathaleen.

Marc says another important thing to do is talk to your child about the dangers. He says if there is an abduction, call the law enforcement agencies in the surrounding area, family friends, civic organizations, and the media.

If you want more information, go to www.klaaskids.org.


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