Read about how Duane Kennedy's biker network serves parents of abducted children.
Private investigator Duane Kennedy, 44, volunteers with other bikers around the country to search for and reunite abducted children with their parents or guardians.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Duane: I'm the hunter for a Missouri nonprofit organization known as B4K Inc. In the real world, B4K stands for Bikers4Kids. In today's world, much money is spent on organizations that only put up posters. Our dream world is to be able to not only afford to search for the kids full-time but to be pro-active as well by using the digital ID system we developed and by giving courses on not only how to protect your child but also how to find them.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Duane: B4K (Bikers 4 Kids), Springfield, MO.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefits from this work.
Duane: When someone takes a child, whether in a custody dispute or a stranger abduction, we at B4K use our network of biker friends all over the country to hunt for the children. We don't charge the custodial guardians of the children because at that point in their lives, they don't need to be worrying about how they are going to pay for a private investigator. In reality, your social standing makes a difference in how seriously your case is taken. To us, it doesn't matter.
What inspired you to get involved?
Duane: My daughter was kidnapped and severely abused, and because her mom was poor, and I was a drug addict, it took over a year to get her back.
How did you first get involved?
Duane: I've always served the biker community. When I got off the dope, I went to college to learn about human services because I know that I have been called to serve others.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Duane: We did one case for a welfare mother whose own sister took off with her five-day-old baby. We were only paid with a batch of cookies. It was great to see the kid reunited with his mother, and the cookies weren't too bad, eitherů.
What is/was the hardest part?
Duane: The hardest part is when we either can't find them or we find them too late.
What was the biggest surprise?
Duane: When people put aside their prejudices for the sake of a child. We have developed good friends over the eight years we've been doing this. Some are law enforcement officials, some are Shriners. Some are the mildest of Christians and others are the greasiest of bikers. The greatest thing is that when it comes to someone needing help to find their child, the primal instinct to protect that child comes out, and miracles happen.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Duane: Search your heart. In the quiet part of your soul, do you know that it's the right thing to do? If the answer is "yes", let nothing stand in your way.
B4K (Bikers 4 Kids)
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