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A spotlight on missing children

Dear Readers: May 25 has been named National Missing Children’s Day. Its purpose is to bring attention to MISSING AND ABDUCTED CHILDREN.

After a large number of kids went missing, particularly in the early 1980s, it became evident that there was no centralized clearinghouse to search for kids nationwide. With help from the FBI (www.fbi.gov) and the U.S. Department of Justice (www.justice.gov), this situation has gotten better.

These agencies agree: One step parents can take to help find a missing child is to have a current, good-quality photograph of the child. And update the picture frequently; young kids grow and change rapidly.

A poignant statement you and your family can make today: Wear only one sock, and post a picture to your social media. Use the hashtag #RockOneSock, and tag @MissingKids! (“SOCK” stands for “Save Our Country’s Kids”), a great way to start a dialogue about this important issue. You can also go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.org). — Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Meet Fuzzy. Joanne G. emailed a picture of her little white long-haired terrier Fuzzy, all dressed up for Cinco de Mayo, complete with a sombrero!

To see Fuzzy and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a “Fuzzy,” furry and funny friend? Email a picture and description to Heloise@Heloise.com. — Heloise

VACATION PREPARATION

Dear Readers: School is almost out! The kids are ready for a break, and you’re probably ready, too! Here are some hints to prep you for leaving on vacation:

* Provide your flight info to your extended family.

* If you’re driving, service your car (wipers, breaks, lights). Refresh the first-aid kit: flashlight, jumper cables, trash bags, etc.

* Arrange for a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and water your plants. Temporarily stop the newspaper. Set timers on your lights.

Taking some prep steps in advance will ensure a stress-free time for all! — Heloise