Network Awarded $95,000 Grant To Help Return Abducted Children

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The grant will help continue the mission of iStand Parent Network to empower parents to recover their children from international parental child abduction and wrongful retention.

The funding will help us strengthen our organizational capacity and further engage critical stakeholders as we stand with families to return America’s Stolen Children home.

The Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation has awarded iStand Parent Network, Inc. a three-year grant totaling $95,000 to help families recover children who are victims of international parental abductions. The grant follows a $10,000 award from the foundation in 2019 and will help boost the non-profit's service and advocacy efforts.

Founded in 2014, iStand is a national resource and support network for parents impacted by International Parental Child Abductions (IPCA). Each year, 800-1,000 children are victims of IPCA, a federal crime prevalent in part because there are no controls at airports and borders to prevent parents from taking children out of the country, often in defiance of court orders and custodial agreements. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for parents seeking the return of their children as many foreign courts and governments have shut down or have limited operations.

Dr. Noelle Hunter, the co-founder of iStand, successfully fought to bring her daughter back home to Kentucky after she was taken by her father to Mali, Africa in 2014. Hunter and a team of volunteers now use their experience with navigating federal and international red tape to help other families and have assisted with the reunification of 47 children. The foundation’s latest contribution is earmarked to hire a part-time parent advocate to meet increased demand for assistance, enhance technology for more efficient operations and support iStand's annual conference, to be held this fall in Washington, DC.

The Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation has provided more than $12 million in support of education, arts and community initiatives, primarily in Western Kentucky, since 1989. Bart Critser, who serves on the foundation board of directors, is an IPCA survivor. He worked closely with iStand for the return of his daughters after their abduction to Denmark.

“This grant is a very special gift from a family who knows the pain of international parental child abduction all too well, and is just the boost we need to help us become more viable and help more families,” Hunter said. “The funding will help us strengthen our organizational capacity and further engage critical stakeholders as we stand with families to return America’s Stolen Children home.”

The 7th Annual International Parents Conference and Embassy Walk, to be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, is iStand’s premier advocacy and education event and has more than quadrupled in attendance in recent years.

About iStand Parent Network, Inc.

iStand Parent Network, Inc. empowers parents to recover their children from international parental child abduction and wrongful retention and advocates for domestic and international policy reform that returns children home.

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Noelle Hunter, PhD
@iSTANDParentNet
since: 04/2014
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