From the March 2001 issue of Startups

A funny thing happened to Ken Palton on the way to the garbage one day. His trash bag broke, and while he was picking up the rubbish, a magazine ad for Child Shield, U.S.A. caught his eye. While Palton had looked into countless other business opportunities in the past, hoping to find one that actually had substance, this one seemed different. "With Child Shield, you're not only producing an income for yourself, but you're providing a service to the community," he notes. "I was looking for a business where I could produce a service that was reputable, that was honest. For the price, it was worth the money."

Make The Call
Child Shield, (800) 488-2445

A national organization promoting the safety of children, Child Shield aims to prevent and recover lost, missing, abducted and runaway children nationwide. Day-to-day operations consist of contacting people at schools, PTAs and other family organizations, offering child protection kits and an array of educational materials on the prevention of lost or missing children.

Palton is currently putting together a telemarketing program that will reach out to individuals with children and explain what Child Shield has to offer. He intends to give out 50 kits free, possibly in his community of Medina, Ohio, to parents who want to protect their children but can't afford it due to lost jobs or illness. Palton asserts, "If I could stop one child from being abducted-I don't care if I don't make any money-then we did our job at Child Shield."

While Palton also owns and operates a Dairy Queen location in Cleveland, he's hoping eventually to sell the store, once he's laid a firm foundation for his Child Shield business.