The Mechanical Service Contractors of America will display posters of missing children from their local areas on all their service vehicles, according to the organization. Project Home Again kicked off in July, with the trade association for plumbing service contractors hoping to locate missing, kidnapped and runaway children.

“Our members are always looking for ways to help out in the community and this program seemed like a natural match,” said Barbara Dolim, MSCA executive director. “We just hope that the community will take notice of these posters as the vehicles move through their neighborhoods and keep an eye out for these missing children.”

The idea of attaching missing children posters to plumbing service trucks first gained national recognition in June 1997 at a Quality Service Contractors meeting in Toronto. California-based Wigginton’s Plumbing Service carried the posters on its five service trucks, and suggested that other QSC members do the same.

The company told QSC members: “Company morale will rise, and your technicians will drive with pride. The bad press that dominates our industry will be minuscule when compared to the amount of positive press we can obtain together.” Each poster measures 20- by 24-inches, and features a photograph and description of the missing children.

“Since we outfitted the trucks with the posters we’ve been getting a very positive response from the public,” Norm Wigginton told PM after the QSC meeting. “People pass us on the freeway honking and giving us a thumbs-up sign, or mouthing ‘thank you.’”

Last September a group of nine plumbing, heating and cooling contractors in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys launched a similar program. The 50 or so service vehicles were the first “moving billboards” for missing children on the East Coast.

For pictures of missing children and more information about participating in such a program, contact The Polly Klaas Foundation at 800/587-HELP, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 703/235-3900.