The nationwide campaign to raise awareness of child abuse began in Chesapeake, Virginia by a grandmother whose grandson was murdered by his mother’s boyfriend.
Bonnie Finney explains why she decided to tie a blue ribbon on her van. “Why blue? I intend to never forget the bruised body of my grandchild. Blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for the protection of our children.”
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
It is a time when we are reminded to stand and speak up for those who are alone and cannot speak for themselves.
All children deserve to feel safe and secure. They deserve the opportunity to be all that God intends for them to be. Unfortunately, not all children grow up in a nurturing, loving, caring, safe environment. In fact, an increasing number of children face the harsh realities of poverty, abuse, and discouragement. This past year, COVID-19 has exacerbated the plight of some children and families as domestic violence and child abuse rises. The pandemic has ramped up stress for couples and families creating an even greater crisis for children around the world.
Abuse impacts a child’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. A child who is ignored stops talking. A child robbed of attention won’t hug or allow themselves to be hugged. A child who never plays with toys won’t learn as quickly. A child betrayed will find it difficult to trust. A child denied biblical instruction fails to grow in their knowledge of God.
Imagine being a child and feeling alone, hopeless and frightened. One in four children in North Carolina go hungry. Children all around us are in crisis and struggling with daily trauma. Hunger, neglect, abuse, and crisis are as close as the child next door.
Please stand with us and speak out for those who cannot stand and speak for themselves.
Here are three ways you can help:
1. Teach preventive measures to children.
• Teach them they have a right to feel safe
all the time. Role play with them ways of saying no to inappropriate or threatening behavior.
• Teach them that someone must always know where they are, who they are with and when they will be home.
• Tell them nothing is so awful they can’t talk with someone about it. Help them identify safe people with whom they can share.
• Teach them that secrets are not to be harmful. Help them to understand the difference between secrets and threats.
• Teach them how to use social media and how not to use social media. Help keep them safe by monitoring their social media interaction.
2. Assist struggling parents you know.
• Surprise a single parent and deliver pizza, popcorn, and a movie to her home.
• Make a care call to offer encouragement.
• Take dinner over to a stressed parent in paper containers and include paper plates and utensils so they will not have to clean up.
• Deliver board games and snacks.
• Become a prayer partner with a young mother or father with a first child.
• Make sure they are aware of Baptist Children’s Homes and that we stand ready to help.
3. Help children you don’t know.
• Help us help them. Last year, BCH ministered to more than 195,000 children, families and individuals who needed help.
• Participate in our annual food roundup which takes place throughout April.
• Become a bed sponsor.
• Lead your church and family in making a gift to BCH.
• Include BCH in your Will.
• Pray for BCH’s children and staff daily.
It is my prayer that the light of Christ shining through us will flood the darkness. It is my hope the children and families entrusted to BCH’s care will be changed forever. Will you make this your prayer?
When you support BCH, you provide children and residents with warm beds to sleep in, good food to eat, and loving, and caring people to share the love of Christ. When you give, you stand with BCH staff members who wait with outstretched arms proclaiming God’s love.
And remember, always be kinder than necessary for everybody is fighting some kind of battle, be the light in the darkness! Thank you for standing and speaking for those who cannot stand and speak for themselves.
For more information on how to make a difference, call me at 1-800-336-476-3669 ext. 1230 or 336-689-4442.
Worthwhile Investments is written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President of Development & Communications