Acknowledgement: Contributors to this story include VanDella Menifee, Ambassador for Find Our Missing and regular Sociability contributor; Sonia Morales, Co-Founder of Find Our Missing; and Tiffany Michaelle, President of Find Our Missing.
In July 2021, in the middle of the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic—all masked up—what began as a ride in the back seat of a car full of volunteers became something MORE.
My fellow volunteers and I were on our way to meet another group of volunteers in Dallas. Total strangers. The only thing we had in common, initially, was that we were going to help pack up boxes of food and distribute them to the long line of people who were already waiting for us to arrive. Yes, we were happy about it!
Who knew that by the end of the day, my life would be enriched by hearing stories of how people who are missing are sometimes found.
Of course, with servant hearts we begin to talk that day about our careers and our passions. Anthony Alexander, Founder of Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope, began to passionately tell me about his organization’s mission. I was so intrigued. As a former federal law enforcement officer, I knew I wanted to learn more and get involved. I wanted to be a part of the beginning of the criminal justice process, not the end where victims are deceased. In hopes of finding more positive outcomes by helping bring loved ones home to their families, I offered a few of my federal law enforcement connections.
As “Hope” would have it, Anthony and I kept in touch with each other. I invited him to share about his organization to different groups, and eventually I was asked to serve on his board and was honorably voted on as an ambassador. I can truly say, the past nine months have been absolutely amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to represent and speak (via Zoom) about Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope to various police departments across the metroplex; be on a talk show; see live searches done by Team members; be a part of the Team’s after-action review; and review the live reporting of a missing loved one from a family member shared by qualified Team members.
SHARING THE HEARTBREAK AND THE HOPE
Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope is a 501c3 nonprofit focused on finding missing persons, including but not limited to missing and endangered children, runaways, victims of child exploitation and trafficking, victims of domestic violence, those with mental health concerns, and cases where foul play is suspected. We often partner with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to provide tips and the most up to date information concerning active missing persons cases, in an effort to help locate and bring missing persons to safety. As an organization, Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope* is dedicated to fighting these crimes that plague our communities and often targets women and children of color, including Indigenous & Tribal peoples, Native Americans, and members of the Black and Latino communities.
As a child he always wondered who was looking for the missing children on the back of the milk carton. Now, Anthony Alexander is a recipient of the Live Life Epic Award, presented by Epic Waters Indoor Water Park in Grand Prairie, for the work he is doing to help find those who are missing. He and our organization are truly changing lives in an Epic way! We proudly stand with OUR SISTERS and declare JUSTICE for the missing, and for those who have been victimized. Together, we can spread awareness and make a difference.
The story of 19-year-old Evan Lacey begin on the morning of December 17, 2019, when he left his home in Arlington for work. Four days later, his vehicle was found in southeast Fort Worth, and police said evidence inside his car indicated foul play. During that time, Find our Missing were among those assisting the family in hopes of finding Evan alive. On January 3, 2020, utility workers found Evan’s body in a wooded area off Webb Ferrell Road in South Arlington.
Now, more than 44 months later, the family and friends of Evan Lacey have painfully waited for answers and justice.
Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope exists to support families of missing persons/children like Evan’s. Not only do we assist in the location and recovery of victims, we provide helpful resources throughout the process. The duties and demands of recovering missing individuals are multi-faceted and involve partnering with local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as uniting with other nonprofits and businesses, to contribute a group effort in achieving the goal. We pour our hearts into the cases that we take on at Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope, and we work tirelessly to bring every situation to a positive resolution. From circulating missing persons posters on social media and in the streets, to collecting evidence shared with law enforcement, and praying with families during their darkest hours, our lives are dedicated to the cause.
Through our involvement in over 400 cases, our passion continues to spread across the country. Our number one goal is to be active in every state across the USA and abroad, continuously serving victims and families while spreading awareness to communities and schools about the dangers of human trafficking.
If you’re moved by our efforts to bring Hope to our communities, join our Facebook group. Learn more about our organization and meet our team through our website: findourmissing.com. And if you need help, please call us at (682) 207-7888 or reach out to us through social media right away.
*There are other remarkable organizations such as the Black and Missing Foundation and the most famous one on television called “Find Our Missing.” There is no affiliation between these organizations and Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope.