Local foundation helping children and families searching for their loved ones
Local foundation helping children and families searching for their loved ones (Dayton 24/7 Now photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF) -- Nearly 300 people have been reported missing in Ohio this year alone. Local non-profits are working to support them. 

The Dock Ellis Foundation is a local non-profit that supports the families of missing people across the country.

This Easter, the non-profit is gifting Easter baskets to children who may have a parent or loved one who is missing. Michelle McCown Luster is the sister of Nicole McCown who went missing 21 years ago in Richmond, Indiana.

“We've did everything you could possibly think of to look for a missing loved one,” said Luster. 

Currently, she works with the Dock Ellis Foundation. 

“In the 21 years that I’ve been searching for my sister, I’ve worked with a lot of organizations with my family,” said Luster. “I ran across the Dock Ellis Foundation, and they weren't just there to help look for a missing person, they were there to support their families."

From then, Luster began working with them closely and now she is helping families try to enjoy Easter. Like the family of Cierra Chapman, a Dayton woman who's been missing since December.

“I have went out and got some stuff to make some baskets for some of the kids that their parents are missing,” said Luster.

Luster shared with Dayton 24/7 Now, that she knows how it feels to have a missing loved one.

“The reason for that is because when your loved one is missing, holidays are really, really hard. Having that empty seat at the table is very hard,” said Luster.

The goal is to make life normal for all involved, including the children as they continue to search for their parents.

“This is money that I spent because sometimes people don't have it to give, and we still wanted to make sure the kids have somewhat a normal Easter,” said Luster.

According to the Dock Ellis Foundation, this week three families will be reunited on Easter. If you’d like to donate or help this foundation, click this link.

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