Missing Children starts a stamp collection

Lowe Roche and the Missing Children Network are unveiling customized stamps, available for purchase from Canada Post, featuring the faces of missing kids.

Lowe Roche is bringing back the missing children milk carton concept – without the carton.

This May, for Missing Children’s Month, Lowe Roche and the Missing Children Network office are unveiling customized stamps, available for purchase from Canada Post, featuring the faces of missing kids.

The idea was born from one of Lowe’s CDs, Mark Mason, who happens to be a stamp collector, says Monica Ruffo, CEO, Lowe Roche. Stamps, Mason said, have been used since their inception to honour everything from royalty to plant life to technological achievement – so why not use them to honour the missing?

Missingkidsstamps.ca went live at the beginning of the month, and invites people to choose an image of a child, linking them to the Canada Post website where they can order the stamps (at a marginally higher cost than normal stamps), says Ruffo.

The program will rely almost exclusively on earned media (with a PR strategy still being determined at press time), as well as targeted e-blasts to the Society’s database. A separate e-blast will also go out to police officers in Ontario and Quebec.

The target audience is “anybody,” says Ruffo, emphasizing that anyone might have seen a missing child, have valuable information or want to purchase the stamps.

The campaign will act as an awareness-driving medium for the issue of missing children as well as potentially help find the kids.
“Every time you put one of those stamps on an envelope, you’re maximizing the possibility that it ends up in someone’s home who might have seen something,” Ruffo says.

While the program will officially be promoted in Ontario and Quebec only (for scale and cost reasons), Ruffo’s hope is that it will have a bigger reach in following years. The agency and the society have also begun conversations with Canada Post to make the stamps a more permanent offering.

Of course, email exchanges have largely replaced written letters, so the website will also offer a digital signature for people to add to the bottom of their emails, free of charge. The entire program will be supported by more traditional Missing Children’s Month awareness activities, including children’s safety events and a missing children roll call, where names of missing kids will be called out.