Frogs, Fun and Philanthropy with Honeywell

honeywell group

Childhelp Founders and Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, have been rescuing abused and neglected children for over 53 years. One of their pioneering achievements came from their fear that once children have been severely harmed, they were often revictimized by a system unprepared to meet their individual needs.

Sara and Yvonne fought to create the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center, a safe haven where children in crisis could walk through the doors and find a co-located team of dedicated medical, law enforcement, legal and counseling professionals specially trained to prosecute predators, shelter these brave little survivors and begin the healing process.

Inside the center you will see bright murals, toys and smiling faces. Sara and Yvonne have always insisted that everything be cheerful and inviting to distract boys and girls from their immediate pain and engage them in reclaiming their dreams, imaginations and lives.

While the inside of the center has always been a happy place, the exterior was a bit functional and not as inviting as it could be. The recession resulted in a loss of charitable contributions and every donated dollar continues to be spent directly on recovering children. With so much need and so little funding, the idea of beautifying the center remained on the backburner until Sara’s daughter-in-law, Celeste Hopkins, had a chance encounter with Honeywell’s Shoshana Leon and a plan was designed to make magic happen.

The remarkably organized and professional team at Rebuilding Together began the project by erecting sun sails for shade, sandblasting and coating decorative frogs in the Childhelp colors, reconditioning benches, procuring planters and providing tools and expertise for the project every step of the way.

The heartfelt volunteers from Honeywell showed up energized to assemble a play area, paint and bring this vision to life. Not only did they make the workday fun with plenty of music and humor, but they remained connected to the stories of the little lives entering the center. As they worked, they would occasionally have to part for boys and girls to pass and the children clearly became their driving force to make the entryway more beautiful and welcoming than anyone could imagine.

Childhelp President Yvonne Fedderson said, “Volunteers have always been the backbone of our organization and with this wonderful act of generosity and kindness, we consider Honeywell and Rebuilding Together to be the newest members of the Childhelp family.”

Childhelp CEO and Chairman Sara O’Meara added, “We deeply appreciate this gift of time, resources and talent. These amazing individuals have taken the spirit of our advocacy center interior and brought it out into the courtyard where every child can see, from the minute they walk towards our doors, that they are safe and loved.

Project coordinator and Childhelp’s Director of Communications, Daphne Young, expressed the critique of the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center makeover that means the most to everyone involved, “Before the work was complete, children were already throwing their arms around the frogs, leaping in the play area and excited about how ‘cool’ the changes were. I really didn’t think it would have such a profound impact, but days later I keep hearing reports of happy hearts. It’s like they know it was all done just for them.”  

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