Spokeo, a popular people search engine, has named their “Search Angel” award winners for 2015.
Spokeo’s annual Search Angel awards recognize volunteer searchers who help adoptees find and reunite with their birth families.
Search Angels are people who selflessly volunteer to help adoptees search for their birth parents and families.
Search Angels are well known in the adoptee community for their efforts with family reunion searches for people who have been separated from their biological familes for various reasons.
Spokeo works with professionals from a number of adoption groups to choose their annual Search Angel award winners.
In July, Spokeo announced their three Search Angels for 2015: Jennifer Johnston, Natalie Monolakis and Kimberley Haskitt.
This year’s winners were chosen from a list of 20 nominees.
After searching for her own biological family, Jennifer learned all about people searches and public records research. She has used what she learned during her own family search to help other adoptees find their families.
Jennifer Johnston regularly works over 60 hours a week helping other people find and reunite with their birth families.
Like Jennifer Johnston, Natalie Monolakis was herself an adoptee who spent many years searching for her own birth family.
After more than 20 years of searching, Natalie was finally reunited with her family and found out that they had been searching for her as well.
The experience from her own search made Natalie realize that she had to help other people like herself find family and answers.
In 2014, Natalie helped start a search and reunion group for adoptees in Utah. Currently, her organization has over 350 members and their search efforts have reunited 30 families.
Kimberly started helping people search for their families several years ago when she agreed to assist a friend who was trying to find information about her birth father.
She also has private investigation and research training and spends hours daily helping people search for family members.
Kimberley is an advocate for the use of DNA testing technology to help people find family members through genetic matching.
In March 2016, Spokeo’s Search Angels will be recognized at the 37th Annual American Adoption Congress.
Search Angels receive a monetary award from Spokeo to help with the expenses they have from their volunteer work.
Search Angels also win a free annual pass on Spokeo’s people search site to help with their work.
In addition, Spokeo helps pay some of the reunion expenses for families that are reunited by the award recipients.
Spokeo joined forces with the Mixed Roots Foundation in 2012 to recognize and award top search angels for their volunteer work. The first winners were named in 2013.
Since 2012, seven people have won Search Angel awards.
To learn more about Spokeo Search Angels, you can visit their site at http://spokeoangels.com/.