He is a humble, unassuming man who reached out to help Operation Underground Railroad. Today, John Moreland is its new president, donating his salary, resources and connections to help find and rescue enslaved and exploited children.
His is not your average “rags to riches” story. He grew up playing on the beaches of sunny Southern California when he experienced an epiphany; he needed to get a job. Thought turned to action and he enrolled in a community college and then the police academy. It was while working with parents of missing children as a police officer that he determined if he ever had the means he would do more to help them.
We all know, however, that police officers are not on any millionaires’ lists. Moreland took a second job working occupational safety with a construction company. He soon recognized that many of the supply chain issues that were occurring in construction could be solved with software.
“I didn’t really know anything about software but I went to some friends and asked them to help. I didn’t have any money but I promised them the first check,” he said.
That leap of faith netted big profits. The company grew. The software expanded. And the money started rolling in. Not growing up with money, Moreland had no idea what to do with it all. Wisely, he found a friend who took good care of him.
Married with six children, Moreland had not forgotten his roots nor his desire to help parents of missing children. “I was compelled to do something,” he said. But how do you get started? Then he saw an article about Operation Underground Railroad and Tim Ballard rescuing children. Why invent the wheel when it’s already up and running? Moreland made a phone call and began helping O.U.R.
At the time O.U.R. was trying to figure out how to get these huge grow-boxes to Haiti. The grow-boxes were going to an orphanage, where many of the rescued children were staying, to help with food production. There was concern that shipping the boxes by plane or boat was risky as they were large and delicate, and could easily break. They could just as easily be stolen.
Fortunately, one of the companies Moreland had invested in was STAjets, a private jet charter company. Problem solved. Through his generosity the grow-boxes were safely delivered to Haiti and are currently in production to feed the orphans.
Moreland feels that coming together with O.U.R. was providentially guided. He is now fulfilling the promises he made to himself, his family and the parents of missing children so many years ago. “When Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, I remember telling my wife that I felt compelled to go to Utah and look for her,” he said. Moreland now plans to use his connections and resources to rescue as many children as possible and O.U.R. couldn’t be happier to have him on our team.
Written by: Cheryl L. Karr