Destiny Search Project primary focus is that of the organization of search operations. however, that is just one of the services that we provide. In this article, we will look a bit at how our Social Media service has empowered a community to go way above and beyond anything we had ever imagined.
Social Media was a not a major factor in what we did ten years ago but that has slowly evolved just as our new online system has. One of the first uses of Social Media that we participated in was during the search for Susan Powell in 2009. In that case, we helped with organizing a facebook page that a friend of hers had started. As noted in the Salt Lake Tribune on December 25th that year
“One of the parts I have been amazed with is the social media aspect,” said Damon Talbot, the acting president and director of operations of the Destiny Search Project. “I’ve never seen it in any search before.”
Since then have times changed. Social Media is now a part of most everyone’s lives in some way. We looked at this right away in the redevelopment of our services this year and knew we would want to use these new tools as much as possible.
In July after we relaunched Destiny Search Project our first case with our new services and plans was launched for Kaylee sawyer in Bend, Oregon. We started a Facebook group immediately and within 24 hours it had already passed 1000 members. At that point the group was being used to send information on our planned search operations, share the missing person flier, and for people to show support to the family.
Sadly the case had a very tragic ending but that’s now where this story ends. After Kaylee was found deceased we discussed with the family what to do with the page which by then only a few days later was over 300 members. It was decided to keep the page and change it over to a memorial, Remembering Kaylee Sawyer which now has over 4600 members. It wasn’t long before friends, family, and complete strangers were sending out messages of condolences, stories about Kaylee her family may have never heard, and coming together as a community.
It was not long after that some completely unexpected and amazing things began to happen. Kaylee’s family decided to form a foundation in her honor. They created the KK Reader’s Foundation” which will be bringing copies of the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which had been one of her favorite childhood books. The foundation will be sending these books out to various places where children will be able to read them.
As part of that one of the facebook group members created a contest that would offer the books and allow the buyers to be in a drawing for a custom door. Since then it has grown like wildfire. As of today’s writing that one person alone has been able to get 324 books sent to them through Amazon. Once the goal of 500 is met they will be sent to Neighborhood Impact Head Start to be given to young readers. Each book will have a memorial sticker and when they are sent the family have been receiving messages from those that purchased them.
Unintended consequences. We could never have imagined how Social Media would create such an impact not just during a search but long afterward. This is just one of several amazing things that have come together through the Facbook group. There has already been dozens of life stories shared, memories cherished, frustrations let out. It has been an amazing new part of the services we offer.
If you would like to support KK Reader’s Foundation please visit on Amazon to make a purchase and send a book to a child who can enjoy it. The community that has come together to support her family and bring her memory and ensure an awesome legacy in her name has been incredible.