Updates from the Childhelp Bus

From April 26 to May 4, the Childhelp "End Child Abuse Now!" bus traveled from the Phoenix area and throughout southern California in support of many great Childhelp events and to help spread to word about the terrible affliction that is child abuse and neglect.

On Sunday the 26th the bus arrived in Scottsdale at the Montelucia Resort to support the Childhelp Wings Fashion Show. Mothers and daughters exiting the great event had a chance to see the bus and climb aboard. It was the first time many people from the Childhelp headquarters had seen the bus before it departed on its seven hour drive to Newport Beach, California.

In Newport Beach the bus joined up with the Orange County Chapter's 27th annual Golf Classic. There generous event sponsors and attendees were able to learn more about the mission of the bus and where Childhelp would be taking it in the future. At the event bus staff was able to pass out information literature and really gather the support of everyone in attendance.

On the third day of its trip the Childhelp bus headed to downtown Los Angeles to grab photographs in front of famous landmarks and to travel through high traffic areas to gain exposure. From the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre to Hollywood Boulevard and Santa Monica Pier, the bus grabbed the attention of thousands of LA natives and tourists. The bus crew grabbed hundreds of great photographs that can be used to help spread the message in online and informational material. Next the bus was headed to Irvine.

In Irvine the bus made a visit to Verizon's offices where it was outfitted with wireless cards and Verizon employees trained our bus teams on Verizon's new tools for protecting children while texting and using their phones. Their Chaperone service will be a feature of the kiosks at the bus. Thanks to Verizon for all of their support.

The bus then headed down to San Diego. There the reporters at KUSI 9 News helped the bus to spread the message about child abuse in America. Dan Plante talked with Gregg Edgar for several minutes about Childhelp and our mission to End Child Abuse Now!

On May 1 the bus joined the Greater Southern California Chapter for a Red, White and Blue Charity Event at the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor. A fantastic crowd came out to celebrate Childhelp's 50 years of service. It was great evening on the deck of this World War II era ship with entertainment provided by Norm Crosby and Della Reese.

Following a very successful event at the USS Midway in San Diego on Friday night, the Childhelp bus made the drive inland to the Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont, CA for Special Friends Day.

Special Friends Day, an already festive occasion filled with food, carnival games and even a rock wall; was a welcome place for the "End Child Abuse Now!" bus to be. As the bus pulled up the village, it was met with a warm reception by the staff, special friends and most importantly the more than 90 children living at the village.

After some great skits, a performance by the brand new Merv Griffin Village Choir were and lunch, the recreation center area turned into a full-on melee of activity. Between the carnival games, rock wall and spending time with their special friends, the only thing that could really top it for the kids was getting onto the 40 foot bus that was sitting out front of their recreation center. The children were more than ecstatic to "come aboard" and enjoy the inside of the bus to watch the bus footage from New York City and play with the walkie talkies.

The bus was bustling with energy as the children and their special friends lounged in the bus in between their other activities. One youngster even took it upon himself to become the captain of the bus and make sure that people weren't bringing food and drink on and keeping everyone in order.

The children were not the only ones feeling like rock stars on the bus as special friends and staff alike came aboard to check everything out, many of them inquiring about all the places that the bus would be going and what it would be doing. Many were watching the footage of Sara and Yvonne from the Atlanta HHS conference on the TV outside the bus and commenting on how great their speeches were. All were very excited of the prospects of the bus and the mission to spread the word to each state of the epidemic of child abuse in America.

All in all, it was a joyous place to be to see the kids not only enjoying the time with their special friends, but just seeing kids be kids and enjoy their special day. There couldn't have been a better place for the Childhelp bus to be on that day than with the kids.

The next stop on the tour was to the Vintage Country Club in Indian Wells, California for a dinner meeting of a possible new chapter in the Childhelp family. In hopes of increasing the membership and create some new fundraising opportunities for Childhelp, Sara and Yvonne treated the attendees to their compelling story and educated them to the statistics. They also went on to explain the goal of the bus tour to spread the word to all 50 states and to urge these new chapter members to help the cause.

To help with this, the bus was parked out front so that attendees could have the opportunity to get on the bus that will be spreading so much awareness nationwide. Following the dinner, many came out to see the inside of the bus and were very curious to hear of the next tour stops.

It was a phenomenal second leg for the Childhelp "End Child Abuse Now!" bus and it looks to be back on the road at the end of May with stops in the Southwest and then back to Washington, DC in June.



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