My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Community United Effort (CUE), Wilmington, NC, USA
I have been a volunteer member of the The Cue Center For Missing Persons for 2 1/2 years now. It seems like yesterday when I found the CUE website in search of resources to assist a community nearby that I was living in. Sure enough, Monica Caison, picked up the phone immediately as she was on a search in Florida at the time and directed me to what the family needed to do in order to register their missing loved one in accordance to the organizations guidelines as well as offer helpful advice. It was not long after that I continued to inquire about becoming a volunteer with the CUE Center as my background and passion in Criminal Justice went hand in hand in the work CUE performs daily for the families of the missing, I filled out the application online. What I found out and felt quickly at the onset is that Monica, the cue volunteers, as well as the families of the missing were in itself, one gigantic "family" of natures own making. Formed by pain, suffering, grief, desperation... Bound by the common-morality of having a missing loved one and within some of those; the desire to help make difference in the future in the lives of other families suffering through the nightmare of having a missing loved one.
I never could have imagined meeting a more dedicated, compassionate, empathetic, hardworking, passionate person than Monica Caison; she is not only these things, she is a driving force to be reckoned with a tenacious toughness that she encompasses in her efforts to climb the mountains in finding resolutions for her families; never to give up. Monica has been a role model and teacher to me and so many others in many forms. Monica is selfless when it comes to the cause and the mission it serves, she shares in her abilities & knowledge by educating the CUE volunteers, the families, communities, & even at times law enforcement. There are many veteran volunteers at CUE whom I could say many similar things about and this is what makes this organization so special and unique in genuineness.
Working with the CUE family daily not only has allowed me to participate in the efforts of CUE from advocating, ground searches, community awareness campaigns, etc.. on behalf the families of missing. It has educated me in multitudes in what all is entailed for CUE to operate it's mission.
Not only do I feel blessed to be a volunteer with CUE but I am also a donor to the organization. I don't typically share this information publicly but I hope in sharing my perspective as a volunteer who is also donor that is able to see the REAL difference made day to day with donated funds, it would inspire others to get involved. CUE provides all their resources for FREE to the families of the missing and to law enforcement. When you hear the old saying "no strings attached" or "it's to good to be true".... literally, there are NO strings attached and it IS GOOD while being TRUE! The CUE Center relies on donations in order to operate. HUGE efforts are made to get the essentials donated and to keep any costs down/minimal in the forms of ground search efforts in hotel rooms, meals, travel expenses etc.. for searchers, printing materials, billboards, and the list goes on and on!! At the end of the day there are still costs to the organization in the ability to provide these resources needed to operate. The CUE Center's network of resources across the country is huge. There have been many times I have witnessed Monica bringing in a special resources clear across the country in order to aid a particular search. Many of these resources themselves are other non-for-profits who donate their time and capabilities but require travel costs in order to get there. This is just one small example of many, in which the CUE Center incurs a cost to aid a search. I can also share that these resources have proven instrumental in actual recoveries made just in the short time I have been around.
Last, I want to share how much I admire the strict ethical standards the CUE Center implements when it comes to fundraising in which they never raise money as an organization by way of using a missing persons name as a tool. I found this to be so admirable in light of all that goes on in the world of missing persons that many are unaware. With that being said I would like to also add there are many families who on their own accordance and desire have done their own fundraisers in support of the CUE Center and the mission as well as become volunteers and advocates for the missing themselves. I find these efforts amazing as many of these families in their grief have been selfless enough to in helping others of the same. It is not uncommon to show up on a search and find family members of a missing person there to support the family of the loved one being searched for. The difference the CUE Center makes in the lives of so many is a true blessing.
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