Traveling Sales Crews
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In March of 1999 a Traveling Magazine Sales Crew (a.k.a. YES - working for Subscriptions Plus out of Oklahoma - owner Kay Hillary, crew chief/recruiter - Choan Lane and van driver/recruiter Jeremy Holmes) began recruiting children (in the Madison Wisconsin area) for work involving the door-to-door sale of magazines.

On March 25, 1999 seven children/young adults were dead and five were maimed for life in one of Wisconsin's most tragic traffic accidents in history. One of those children was my daughter Malinda. She died from massive head injuries when the van she was in flipped over going 81 mph.

It is estimated by the Department of labor that on any given day there are some 50,000 children across our country selling magazines, candy, cleaner products etc... For us here in Wisconsin March is the beginning of their recruiting efforts.The Wisconsin Attorney General's office has prohibited (by law) the Subscriptions Plus company to sell in Wisconsin, however there are over 200 companies in the U.S. that are similar to Subscriptions Plus. Subs Plus has traveled all over the country. Its successor companies are still coming to your area today.

Since the March 25, 1999 accident on Interstate 90 near Janesville Wisconsin there have been at least 11 more deaths that we are aware of.

Senator Herb Kohl has presented at Bill S.96 into congress to regulate this industry and protect our kids but unfortunately because of more pressing national affairs this bill is in committee. At present across the country there are only two states, Washington State and Massachusetts that have enacted legislation. Currently there is no federal legislation in place to prevent more child abuse and death.

The traveling sales industry and in general all door-to-door sales has become a silent killer of youths in America. It is without question a growing national tragedy.

Many labor officials, critics, and even our own Wisconsin Attorney General Jim Doyle have coined these groups: "teen sweat shops of the streets". Many of the crews are on a daily basis breaking many of the child labor and state selling laws. Kids who have the misfortune of being recruited into these crews are lured in and lied to. Many are abandoned, physically and mentally abused, introduced to drugs, and cut off from their families and friends. Those that can get out before it is too late survive, but with horror stories that haunt them for life. Many of these kids never come home.

The crew chiefs put up ads in local newspapers, solicit kids at high schools, go to teen functions and even cruise the "main drags" where teenagers hang out. They promise the kids travel: "see the country for free", adventure: "meet new people and have fun under the sun while making hundreds of dollars a week", including free room and board. These are all lies. In reality they work long hours (10 - 12 hours a day) in strange neighborhoods that at times are hostile, sleep on floors in cheap hotels where many times 4 to 5 kids or more are packed in a single room, are physically and mentally abused by the crew chiefs in front of their peers when they come back with low sales quotes, are left abandoned without any money in unfamiliar towns across the country when they get sick or can't meet their sales goals.

Many of the crew chiefs/managers allow the kids to use drugs. In the case of Choan Lane (a.k.a. YES) he used marijuana as a treat to get the kids to sell more subscriptions.

I am writing you this letter today because I am trying to save children and young adults and their families all across this country from the hell and suffering that these traveling sales crews have inflicted on literally thousands of families.

I am asking only that you make as many people aware of this national tragedy as you can before more kids are abused and killed. I am doing this for my daughter Malinda and the six others that perished on March 25, 1999 and I am doing this for all of the kids and families that have been crippled by the traveling door-to-door sales crews.

I have included several links that you can visit that will give you much more detailed information than this letter. I believe that it is our moral and civil duty to alert kids and their families all across this country. I am a member of Parent Watch and The Dedicated Memorial Parents Group. The DMPG was created after the tragic traveling magazine sales crew accident on March 25, 1999.

We (the families and friends of our lost children) continue the ongoing struggle of making as many people aware of this national tragedy as humanly possible. We do this by sending the media, schools, law enforcement, attorney generals, and legislator's press kits with the most up to date information on recent traffic deaths, murders, rapes and abandonment's that have continued to be prevalent in the door-to-door sales industry.

The Dedicated Memorial Parents Group
March 25, 2002

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