HOUSTON – Texas EquuSearch in facing an uncertain future, according to the nonprofit’s founder, Tim Miller.
Miller said the organization is running out of money.
He said the organization is as busy as ever, but donations are down this year.
“After Hurricane Harvey, it’s kind of dried our donations up,” Miller said.
Miller said he’s injected $36,000 of his own money to keep the doors open for the last three months.
He founded Texas EquuSearch in 2000 after his daughter was abducted and murdered.
EquuSearch is as busy as ever. Volunteers are currently helping local police in four missing persons cases. The subject of one of those cases is Gloria Jimenez’s sister, Maria, the mother of a small child who went missing on her way to work last week.
“Honestly, that’s my only support that I have right now. They are the only ones keeping me strong and still having faith that she’s somewhere and that she’s going to come back home,” Jimenez said.
In 18 years, Texas EquuSearch has become an important partner for police agencies ranging from the Houston Police Department to the FBI and Texas Rangers. The nonprofit has been involved in more than 1,800 searches in 42 states and nine foreign countries. Volunteers provide manpower police agencies simply don’t have.
“To have that force multiplier that someone is going to go out there and search all these different areas, I mean, it certainly helps in their investigations,” said Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers Union.
But without new sources of funding, Miller isn’t sure how long he can keep providing that help.
“I’m scared,” Miller said. “For the first time in my life, I'm really scared that if something doesn’t break, I’m going to get a phone call and I'm going to have to say, 'I’m sorry, I can’t help.'”
Miller is planning a fundraiser to be held in October. In the meantime, he’s trying to attract new donors.
Here is more information:
Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery
4013 FM 517, Suite B, Dickinson, Texas 77539
P.O. Box 395, Dickinson, Texas 77539
Office: (281) 309-9500