As owner of her own Allstate agency in Lewis Center, Jessica Rivera offers insurance for just about anything: auto, home, life, renters, business, motorcycle and boat.
While having insurance gives people peace of mind in the event of an emergency, parents like Rivera will tell you what keeps them up at night isn’t whether they have the proper amount of home and auto insurance, it’s making sure their children are safe and sound.
While no insurance agent can offer that type of security in today’s world, Rivera — a mother of two — is doing all she can to provide parents and caregivers in the community with another option when it comes to keeping kids and at-risk adults safe by offering the Operation Kidsafe program at her Delaware County office.
Founded 18 years ago by Mark Bott, a Grove City native, Operation Kidsafe provides free and private Amber Alert ready forms.
“Operation Kidsafe is a program designed for parents for their children or at-risk adults for their fingerprints and pictures to be put on a nice cardstock that can be given over to authorities in the event, God forbid, something did happen to them,” Rivera said. “It’s completely free, and it’s our giveback to the community.”
Rivera added the program was originally offered to car dealerships nationwide, for the most part, but recently, program organizers started offering it to Allstate insurance agencies.
“They reached out to me to explain the product, what it was, and what it could do,” Rivera said. “I thought it was a great giveback to the community. Something I really believe in is giving back. I have two children of my own, so it’s just a good service.”
She added Bott worked with John Walsh, of “America’s Most Wanted” fame, to create the Amber Alert system, and Operation Kidsafe is another safeguard for parents that Bott helped create.
Rivera said those who want to utilize the free program can do so by stopping by her office at 760 Radio Drive, Lewis Center, during normal business hours.
Parents or caregivers will leave the office with a sheet of cardstock that contains a picture of the child or at-risk adult, their fingerprints, as well as blank spots for parents to fill in helpful information like the child’s name, address, date of birth, weight and height. The back of the cardstock contains safety tips for young kids and teenagers.
“Nothing is housed in our system,” Rivera said. “There is no database for the system. Everything is given over to the parents.”
While Rivera hopes no parent ever has to hand over the paper to authorities, she is aware that Amber Alerts have become nearly a daily occurrence in some areas across the country.
As a mother, Rivera said she has had a few experiences in central Ohio that were disturbing, to say the least.
“I’ve had a few incidents that were, I guess, weird in regards to men and women coming up to me,” she said. “I also have recently learned that Ohio is huge for human trafficking, and Route 23 is one of the major avenues to get to Toledo, where I guess it goes to. It’s important that people have the opportunity to have this for their children, at-risk adults, or whomever they want it for. I’ve done it myself.”
According to the Operation Kidsafe website, overonemillionkids.com, over the past 18 years, the program has helped safeguard over one million children through the Amber Alert ready form.
Joshua Keeran is editor of The Delaware Gazette. He can be reached at 740-413-0900.