In 2011, Daniel O’Keeffe’s disappearance prompted his sister Loren to leave her job as an online communications advisor to establish what became the biggest campaign of its kind in the world. Dan Come Home encompassed regular media coverage, nationwide billboards, t-shirts, celebrity shoutouts, bumper stickers, fun runs and an unprecedented social media following.

Dan challenged the stereotype of a missing person and the search for him highlighted significant gaps in support for those left behind.
By 2012, families of other missing loved ones reached out seeking advice and assistance, which led Loren to create a step-by-step guide for what to do when someone disappears, based on her own family experiencing a complete lack of guidance.
Desperate to provide much-needed direction, she’d email a Word document guide – aware it wasn’t the ideal format, but without the means to turn it into a website – so that those who wanted to be proactive had somewhere to start.

A friend suggested Loren apply for the Vodafone World of Difference grant. In order to be eligible – and in the space of two weeks – she registered the charity and swiftly obtained the prerequisite of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status from the ATO in January 2013. Though Missed was yet to have even so much as a logo, the objective was clear, and Loren was one of four lucky recipients of the ‘Year of Paid Charity Leave’ grant.

In November 2013, the world-first Missing Persons Guide was launched and has since been used by more than 120,000 people from over 190 countries. Since then, Missed’s objective of creating awareness for missing individuals has broadened to include awareness for associated issues, and our focus on providing practical support has expanded to include emotional support (see Our Work).