Healing the Hearts of Children

Story today out of the Washington, DC area from our Childhelp Chapter there...


It was more than a luncheon and more than a fashion show. It was a fund-raiser that raised nearly $45,000 to support programs for abused children in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

At the Hyatt Regency in Reston Feb. 21, nearly 300 local Childhelp members and friends listened as award recipient, Kathylee Forrester, described her mission -- and personal horror -- to advocate for victims of child abuse.

The fourth annual Childhelp Fashion Show and Luncheon, hosted by the Washington Area Chapter of Childhelp, highlighted the newest spring fashions for women, teens and children, while raising funds to support Childhelp's local programs. "Healing the Hearts of Children" is the nonprofit's goal, as well as this year's theme.

Washington Area Chapter president Christin Klaff of Reston presented Forrester with the "Champion for Children" award, for her advocacy of legislation to protect children and for creating Patches, a bear designed to help abused children express themselves. Forrester has donated Patches bears for use in Childhelp programs in Fairfax, Culpeper and nationally.

WJLA TV News anchor, Cynne Simpson, emceed the fashion show, which featured more than 25 Childhelp volunteer models, from mothers to tots. Simpson encouraged guests to get involved. "We hear that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to protect a child," Simpson said. She reminded the audience that four children die every day as a result of child abuse and that there are nearly 3 million reports of child abuse annually. "If you see something, or you hear something, do something," she said. "If you are uncertain what to do, call Childhelp's national hotline, which is staffed 24/7 with professional crisis counselors."

Guests shopped at the boutiques, bid on silent and live auction items and participated in the raffle. Including sponsorships and ticket sales, Childhelp raised nearly $45,000 from the fashion show and luncheon that will support Childhelp's programs in Northern Virginia.

Childhelp is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofits dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. For more information, see www.childhelp.org. Its national hotline is 800-4A-CHILD.


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