Someone can help bring these children home.

That’s our hope as we share these photos and as we ask you to do the same. Let’s spread these faces far and wide and have faith that the people who can help become the people who will help.

Some of the children here aren’t children anymore. And some of them, sadly, never made it past childhood.

Most heartbreaking are the Jane and John Does, the ones whose bodies were found but whose identities remain a mystery.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children maintains this list of North Carolina’s missing kids and young people, culled from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

We’re passing it along to readers in a season that calls us to dinner tables surrounded by our loved ones, to sparkling trees and fuzzy stockings with the people who warm our hearts more fully than the hearth could never do alone.

There are too many empty seats at those dinner tables, too many stockings with no one to claim them on Christmas morning.

Someone can help to fill those empty seats, or at least to answer the painful questions that fill them now. Let’s all be that someone.