The Childhelp Chapter of Southwest Michigan is one of the newest partners in Childhelp’s mission to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Formed in February 2009, the Chapter is located in the St. Joseph County area of southern Michigan. Chapter members focus on raising awareness of child abuse and hope to make lasting partnerships with other local resources who want to end the terrible cycle of abuse. They focus on recruiting new foster families and running public awareness campaigns with local radio and TV stations.
So far, the Chapter has about 20 members who attend monthly meetings and help plan fundraisers as well as community outreach projects. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month 2010, Chapter members hung 329 pairs of baby shoes in a tree; one for each reported, confirmed case of abuse in their small rural county. The shoes were hung near a memorial site for Calista Springer, a 16-year-old girl who died tragically in 2008 after years of abuse.
Members of the Southwest Michigan Chapter believe that all children need protection and deserve to be loved. This is a belief that needs to be accepted by society as a whole, but starts with one person at a time.