Chances are good that almost every child has thought about running away from home. Chances are even better that most moms have uttered the same words. These are normal, tame happenings we look back on and smile about.

But when the threats from kids are severe and grave, the National Runaway Safeline reports that between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year. In 2017, of the 27,000 missing child cases reported to Safeline, 91 percent were vulnerable, unprotected and in danger runaways. I hope you never have to find out what to do in the case of your child running away and becoming homeless in the streets.

Being a parent today really is harder than it was a generation ago. Parents and guardians need all the support and help they can get, like from the Home Free program sponsored by Greyhound Bus that reunites runaway children with their families. For the last 31 years, Greyhound has been giving kids and teenagers a free ride home, anywhere in the United States. Working with National Runaway Safeline, Greyhound gets the kids back home safely, as long as they're willing to be reunited with their parents or guardians.

Lots of times, we're unaware of the good that companies do through socially responsible philanthropy. Life is tough enough during this pandemic, and perhaps you know someone who might benefit from Home Free. That's why when I hear of a company giving back, I want to make sure you know about it, as well. I like doing business with companies that prove they give in kind, because, like Greyhound, they show the nation they really do care!

If you or someone you know has run away and wants to come home, call 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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