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Every 10 Seconds, a Child Abuse Report Is Made

Every 10 Seconds, a Child Abuse Report Is Made

Guest blogger: Virginia Wietecha 

Imagine being eight years old again. Remember how learning to ride a bike or playing for hours in the sunshine felt free and adventurous? This is how I remember being eight years old. However, many kids do not have the same memories. In fact, in the U.S. alone, a child abuse report is made every ten seconds. Child abuse affects more than 6 million children a year.

When I hear these statistics, it makes me go back to my eight-year-old self, and put myself in those shoes for a second. First, the child undergoesabuse. Second, a report is filed. Third, the child is plucked from everything familiar and placed in a strange environment.

Can you picture standing in a new facility surrounded by total strangers all around you, perhaps clutching the small bag of items you brought from home? Now imagine trying to enjoy summer vacation or start school in the fall. Burdened by stress, emotional turmoil and instability, kids in these situations risk falling, and staying, permanently behind their peers. 

Not every story needs to end like this, however. Many organizations, like the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County, step in during these pivotal moments to provide stability, care, support and resources. Their missions are to empower children to find their voice and to ensure that children are not further victimized by the systems intended to protect them.

That is why I am excited to be taking part in the Champions for Kids Summer Strong campaign. While I am not a nurse, forensic interviewer or counselor, I can still do my part to help victims of child abuse in my county by providing essential items to help kids stay strong during the summer. Maybe the purchased clothing, personal care items, games and movies for the kids will bring a small smile to an eight-year-old who is trying to find a new life — one that is safe, loving and secure.

Join me and the Champions for Kids staff as we strive to support the efforts of organizations and schools around the country, and see how your service project could help you win $10,000 for a school or youth-based organization of your choice!

Virginia resides in Northwest Arkansas with her husband and two daughters.

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When Summer Isn’t Fun: Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

When Summer Isn’t Fun: Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

Keeping Kids ‘Summer Strong’ with SIMPLE Service

You probably remember what summer was like as a kid–warm days at the pool, picnics in the park or watching Spongebob practically nonstop. For kids who rely on free school lunches, however, summer can be a time of uncertainty. Kids from unstable homes, or environments of abuse, must endure (not enjoy) the summer.

At Champions for Kids, we want to provide essentials to kids and families so they can be strong during the summer. Our home is Northwest Arkansas, and we believe supporting each other starts locally. One local organization Champions for Kids is proud to support is the Child Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC). They provide a safe environment to serve abused children and their families–free of charge! To achieve this mission, they need the help of the community. They need everything from clothing, snacks and soap to games and art supplies to achieve their mission. That’s where we (and you) can step in to help.

This Saturday, May 16th, Champions for Kids be collecting items at Pinnacle Hills Promenade, in Rogers, AR, to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC). This Saturday project serves as a kick-off to our Summer Strong SIMPLE Service initiative. From May 15th to June 30th, you can tell us about ways in which you are helping kids in your community. By sharing that story, you have the chance to win part of $50,000 for an organization of your choice

It can be a project like this one, or you may be inspired to help out in other ways! It’s our way of bolstering the efforts that your town, school, or organization is already putting forth. It’s all in the name of making sure that every child is “Summer Strong.”

So come join us on this Saturday, or tell us how you’re making a difference. After all, shouldn’t every kid be able to have golden summer memories?

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