LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas-based nonprofits are using Super Bowl weekend as an opportunity to find missing children around the valley.
It’s called The Big Search led by F.R.E.E. International and Nevada Child Seekers. The organizations do this work year-round, but Super Bowl weekend kicks off a three-day city-wide search with teams of volunteers dispatched to different areas of the valley.
“We have hundreds of volunteers driving through, getting supply bags with missing child posters," said Margarita Edwards, the executive director of Nevada Child Seekers.
"And that’s the hope," she explained, "...that someone spots these kids, reports it and then law enforcement can do their investigation to bring them home safely."
According to Nevada Child Seekers, more than 8,000 children go missing every year in Nevada, which is about 20 children a day.
“They all need to be found but there are so many, especially in Las Vegas," said Executive Director of F.R.E.E. International Michael Bartel.
"We narrow it down to 30," said Bartel, "get a little bit of that back story, talk with the parents, work with the social workers that might be assigned to their cases and see what we might do to bring them home safe."
Bartel says they’ve already helped find 11 kids this week. In the last five years, teams have located more than 120 children.
The Big Search runs through Saturday. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.