INSIDE SOURCES

Locator Foundation working to reunite loved ones with one another

Feb 3, 2023, 9:30 PM

Troy Dunn, founder of the Location Foundation, appears on an episode of Dr. Phil. Photo credit: Deseret News via Troy Dunn.

SALT LAKE CITY — For various reasons throughout life, family members or close loved ones can become separated without any way of finding each other. The Locator Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to help reunite those people.

Troy Dunn, founder of the Locator Foundation, joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on Friday to discuss how his organization is able to reunite loved ones with each other. Dunn has also hosted a TV program for nearly 30 years in helping loved ones reconnect.

Between TV shows such as Sally Jessy Raphael to Montel Williams to Oprah and Dr. Phil, Dunn says he has been able to reunite 40,000 families over the 30 years.

“Somewhere in there, the company that I created that helped us create all of these reunions was bought, was acquired by ancestry.com,” Dunn said. 

Dunn says a challenge he is trying to overcome is those shows continue to air on TV around the world. And with today’s technology, he adds, those shows are also on streaming platforms. Additionally, he says the shows can be watched on Amazon Prime and later this year, on Netflix.

“It’s exciting that our work continues to go forward,” he said. “But every time somebody watches an episode, they go get on the internet to find me or a team to say ‘hey, there’s somebody I’m desperately trying to find,’ and we haven’t been in that business for years.”

Locator Foundation working to fulfill thousands of wishes

However, Dunn says he continues to do the work through his nonprofit organization.

As of Friday afternoon, Dunn told Inside Sources that his foundation had 3,100 unfulfilled wishes of families who are trying to find a family member.

“And sadly, a high percentage of those are dying wishes as we categorize them,” he said. “So, time is of the essence. So, it’s difficult to be honest with you to look every day at that list and see. You know, I mean, there’s some we’re still granting wishes. And it’s always beautiful for the ones we can help.”

Dunn has even reconnected a daughter to the individual who killed her father. 

Matheson asked “Why is that closure? Why is that reconnection so important? Why is that such a human thing?”

“I think we live in a world that is moving so fast,” Dunn said. “And, we live in a world now where it’s 24/7, and we’re continuously being engaged and re-engaged and distracted and attracted and I think we lose track. We lose track of who’s important, what’s important when it’s important.”

Crossroads in life

In his experience, Dunn says as people begin to age and enter a crossroads in their life, they suddenly see clearly what is important.

Dunn says ultimately there is nothing that keeps people from the people they love. It often takes some time to get to that point.

“It continually renews my faith in mankind,” Dunn said.

 

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