Washington, D.C. — The Hope Awards, a program of recognition of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, was punctuated this evening by an announcement from employee-owned, Lifetouch School Photography, that the company will match, dollar for dollar up to $100,000, gifts and pledges made at the evening gala.
John D. Ryan, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said, “Lifetouch has been and continues to be one of our most valuable strategic partners. Their concern for child safety and the portraits they produce are key to their business and our mission.”
Lifetouch, America’s trusted name for school and family photography, has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for decades. Nearly 10 years ago, in partnership, the Lifetouch SmileSafe Kids® photo ID card program was developed. Given that a current photograph is the most essential tool in a search for a missing child, the Lifetouch school portrait has played a pivotal role in the recovery of children in some 22 states. Hundreds of millions of SmileSafe Kids cards have been distributed to moms and dads across the nation, providing an added measure of security from a school portrait.
The Lifetouch SmileSafe Kids photo ID card is provided to parents of every child photographed in participating schools, regardless of the family’s ability to purchase school portraits. Lifetouch volunteer-employees comprise a 24/7 rapid response team, providing a current portrait of a missing child at the request of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Additionally, Lifetouch is the corporate sponsor of Take 25, a program that encourages adults to take 25 minutes with children to talk about safety. Lifetouch provides printed materials in multiple languages for the Take 25 program and participates in safety events throughout the United States. May 25th is National Missing Children’s Day.
The nearly 15,000 employee-owners of Lifetouch are honored to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Lifetouch employee-owners share in the success of the company and are motivated to work hard because the company’s earnings go toward their retirement accounts. The result from an S ESOP corporate structure is a culture of ownership in which each employee-owner is invested equally.
According to a University of Pennsylvania study, S ESOP companies like Lifetouch create not only employee motivation and success, but also $14 billion in new savings for workers each year that they otherwise would not have. In addition, a survey from the National Center for Employee Ownership reported that S ESOP employees can have retirement account balances three to five times higher than the average 401(k) or other defined contribution plans.
Celebrating nearly 80 years of smiles, Lifetouch is an employee-owned photography company. Best known for the tradition of school pictures, Lifetouch also photographs graduating seniors, sports, and events and produces school yearbooks and memory books. Lifetouch operates retail studios across the country and provides portraiture and pictorial directory services for houses of worship. Learn more about Lifetouch.
The Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (“ESCA”) is the Washington, DC voice for employee-owned S corporations. ESCA’s exclusive mission is to preserve and protect S corporation ESOPs and the benefits they provide to the employees who own them. These companies have an important story to tell policymakers about the tremendous success of the S ESOP structure in generating long-term retirement savings for working Americans and their families. ESCA provides the vehicle and the voice for these efforts. ESCA represents employee-owners in every state in the nation.