Outlets at Anthem showing photos of missing kids on billboard today

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ANTHEM -- Every year, thousands of children are reported missing and unfortunately, many never make it home.

The city of Anthem and the Outlets at Anthem are hoping to help by using technology to put pictures of missing kids in a very high-traffic area -- right along Interstate 17.

In partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Outlets at Anthem is donating the ad space on it LED billboard today to show photos of 100 missing kids.

Each of the children shown today has some kind of connection to Arizona. Some of them are from here. Others are believed to have been brought here.

The huge 85-foot billboard overlooks along I-17, and went up just six weeks ago. More than 140,000 drivers go by that billboard every day.

The photos will be shown on billboard until 10 p.m. Those pictures can also be seen online at www.OutletsAnthem.com for the next month.

"We really hope to find some children," said Sallyann Martinez, Outlets at Anthem's marketing director. "I recently read a statistic that said one in six children that are highlighted on a billboard are found. I would love to say in a month -- because these children will be illustrated on our website for a month -- that we are taking children off that website because they are being found."

In addition to showing the photos on its billboard all day, Outlets at Anthem is also hosting a safety fair from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Parents can get their children fingerprinted for free.

Today's program is a part of NCMEC's Take 25 campaign, which encourages families to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about safety and abduction prevention. The Take 25 campaign is in conjunction with National Missing Children's Day, which is is May 25.

According to NCMEC, a child goes missing in the U.S. every 40 seconds.

For more information about the Take 25 campaign or if you know anything about any of the kids shown on the Outlets at Anthem billboard, call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).