Due to ongoing health concerns surrounding COVID-19, our annual Rides for Missing Children have been reimagined.
This September, join the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for Miles for Hope, a nationwide effort to
raise funds, build awareness for missing and exploited children, and share messages of prevention and hope.
The video above is a chance to hear the origin story of the Ride for Missing Children, as told by the “Grandfather of the Ride,” Dick Jordan.
In 1995, a group of 7 men rode their bicycles from Utica, New York to Washington, D.C.
They arrived on the Capitol steps on May 25th, National Missing Children’s Day. Two years later, inspired by that first ride, a group of 43 riders rode their bicycles 100 miles from Albany, NY to Utica, NY to bring awareness for the plight of missing children and to bring a message of safety to the people they met along the way.
The bicycles are a tribute to Sara Anne Wood, who was walking her bike when she was abducted, and they are the vehicles we use to make our journey and carry our message along. They provide a visible means to spread our message about the plight of missing and exploited children, and the importance of child safety education.
What started as a small group of bicyclists that hoped to raise awareness for the plight of one missing child has grown into the biggest annual fundraiser for The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.
The purpose of the Ride For Missing Children (The Ride) is:
- To honor the memory of all missing children.
- To raise public awareness of the plight of all missing and exploited children and the need for child safety education.
- To raise funds to support the missing children poster distribution, community education for the prevention of child abduction and sexual exploitation.
The Ride for Missing Children has grown steadily with over 900 Rider participants every year. There are now five rides in New York State – Utica (CNY), Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo and Albany (Capital District) along with a ride in Texas.
The Ride For Missing Children is a one-day bike ride that stops at schools along our route to bring a message of safety.
All participating riders make a vow to raise a minimum of $300 or $500 and to support the mission and goals of The Ride and NCMEC-NY. Each Rider wears a pin of a missing child that they are riding for. It becomes very personal.
This event is as emotionally draining as it is physical, but so rewarding. It is about raising awareness of what we can do to help stop child predators and bring missing kids back to somewhere safe. It raises needed funds to help distribute posters of missing children and support the mission of NCMEC-NY.
What participants learn immediately is that this event is “not about a bike ride”.
It is about raising awareness and spreading a message of prevention and of hope – that this group will never stop searching for your missing child. It is about a mission “to make our children safer…one child at a time”. The bicycles are simply a vehicle to help carry the message along.