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Navigator Team gives financial boost to Project Lifesaver
Project Lifesaver uses tracking devices worn on the ankles or wrists to locate missing at-risk individuals, including autistic children and dementia patients. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON — Even though Project Lifesaver has proven to be highly effective at locating missing loved ones, it hasn’t been as good as it needs to be in finding money.
The Effingham County Navigator Team, an advocate for families with special-needs children, helped with that problem Saturday by making a $500 donation to the search-and-rescue program.
“This is a new thing for us because Project Lifesaver was needing some funding to help get new equipment,” said Pauline Shaw, Navigator Team president and founder. “We want to support Project Lifesaver because it is so important to our families.”
Project Lifesaver is designed for at-risk individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.

Shaw, who made the donation during the Navigator Team’s Family Fun Day at Guyton Christian Church, said her organization will conduct an Aug. 15 raffle to help Project Lifesaver.
“The tickets cost $5 and first prize is $1,000 for tires and service,” Shaw said. “We also have a custom oyster steamer that I want to win.”
In addition, Shaw said an Autism Walk is being considered as a fund-raising option for Project Lifesaver.
“I’ve never put on a walk so we’re trying to figure out all the details but, hopefully, it will be countywide,” Shaw said.
Shaw’s daughter is non-verbal and wears a Project Lifesaver monitor on her ankle.
“If she was to wander off — and she is non-verbal — we can call the (Effingham County) Sheriff’s Office and it will come out with some equipment and we will track her down,” Shaw said.
Cpl. Kathy Dillard directs Project Lifesaver locally, keeping tabs on 25-30 autistic individuals or Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Nearly 1,600 agencies participate in the program nationally.
Project Lifesaver has conducted more than 3,300 searches with a 100 percent success rate.

See the June 6 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.