The plastic jars with the word "MISSING" on them sit beside cash registers at diners and gas stations. A child's picture fills the front, while pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and, occasionally a dollar bill, sit inside.
The canisters raise many questions. Does the change actually add up to anything? Who gets the money? And who are the kids on them, anyway?
Andoni Petroutsas is missing. Yet, his father, George Petroutsas, can tell you his son is with his mother in Greece and has not returned. So, imagine Petroutsas' surprise when he stopped at a Palo Alto gas station and saw his son's picture on a donation jar.
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Petroutsas had given his son's photo to the government-backed National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. But not the group named on the canister, Child Watch.
Child Watch is a registered charity. Its website says it helps rescue missing children. Petroutsas says Child Watch didn't take any additional steps to try to find Andoni.
Child Watch eventually removed Andoni's photo. But only Andoni's photo.