The mission of Childhelp is to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. At its heart, Childhelp exists to help abuse survivors heal and to keep children safe from harm at the hands of another.
The lifeblood of that mission is the love and generosity donors and volunteers give from their hearts to help kids. Some give resources. Some give time. Some offer expertise or introductions. Each person who stands with Childhelp joins the incredible professionals — therapists, nurses, teachers, social workers, administrators and more — to serve survivors as they heal, and help boys and girls enjoy a childhood safe from abuse.
For more than 60 years Childhelp unites communities to help children. While 2020 presents a unique challenge in keeping us apart, it also offers a beautiful opportunity to show the power of our shared spirit of love and giving.
Childhelp During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic meant a material change in the way Childhelp had to work.
Long months away from school meant that many children experienced weeks at home with abusers, without the benefit of mandated reporters standing up for them. Responding with increased outreach, The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) saw spikes up to 43% higher than the year before from month to month, especially over text and online at childhelphotline.org.
Meanwhile, Childhelp Residential Programs faced heightened exposure risk in small settings, with school routines changing across the board. Childhelp Advocacy Centers actually saw an unsettling slowing of activity: reports declining, even as child abuse responders knew abuse cases were mounting away from the eyes of mandated reporters. More outreach was needed to protect children from harm.
To make matters worse, social distancing meant that fundraisers Childhelp relies on through spring, summer, and now fall were all at risk.
Luckily, the volunteers and donors who make Childhelp so special prove up to the task in continuing to raise funds, build awareness and lift one another’s spirits, even while so many are stuck at home:
The Great Give Back
Childhelp efforts often begin with a seed of faith. For Childhelp Wings this spring, that seed was sown by community leader, National Board Member, and founding mother of Wings, Carol Hebets.
Carol began Childhelp Wings in 1982 to support Childhelp and strengthen relationships between mothers and daughters. Over the years, it has grown to include families and youth in service projects, outreach initiatives and fundraising efforts in both Phoenix and Orange County.
With a matching gift of $25,000 from Carol, the word got out across e-mail, social media and between individuals. Childhelp Wings and Childhelp Service Clubs were ready to fundraise, and a few celebrity supporters were ready to help them.
#TheGreatGiveBack had begun!
Through September, young people and families donated and raised money among those they knew … and a few they had just met … and by the last week of the month, the effort had soared past the $50,000 fundraising goal it started with.
Dreams soar on wings of hope, and the young people and parents who made the Great Give Back happen prove how far we can soar together.
The Music and The Message
Rosevelt Rawls was just a little girl when she began lifting her voice for the sake of children, and while that was only a couple years ago, this young lady has proven that talent and a heart to help can make a big difference no matter a person’s age.
The singer and her family have devoted so much time and effort to support Childhelp through concerts, videos, appearances and fundraisers. Last year, she joined local dance teams and youth choirs, as well as survivor and inspirational speaker Elizabeth Smart, to bring an audience of more than 1,200 together for “The Music and The Message.” Supporting Chilhdhelp and Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), who help victims of human trafficking, the evening raised funds, awareness and spirits for the sake of a good cause.
In April, Roosevelt launched “Rosevelt’s Challenge” to draw attention to child abuse and the five children who die every day in America because of child maltreatment. Unfortunately, Child Abuse Prevention Month unfolded just as COVID-19 swept through many cities across America.
But Rosevelt wasn’t one to let social distancing stand between her and a chance to offer a reprise of “The Music and the Message.” This year, the event again supports Childhelp and O.U.R., but it will take place in a drive-in theater, with a live stream available to at-home audiences.
A little lady with a great voice and a great big heart shows that every obstacle keeping us apart offers a chance to bring even more of us together.
Orange County “Two Weeks to 200,000”
The Orange County Chapter of Childhelp is one of the organization’s leading fundraising chapters, and one that offers so much in time and involvement with the children in Childhelp Programs. The success (and even the existence) of Childhelp’s Costa Mesa Group Homes would not be possible without these incredible men and women, and so many special friends for the boys and girls at Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont.
Every year one of the group’s premier fundraising events is the Fall Gala. Not only does it do a fine job of raising resources and awareness about abuse, but it gives big-hearted friends a chance to don a costume and cut loose for a good cause. Past themes have seen attendees dressed up as flappers from the 20s, disco divas, country cowboys and cowgirls, and on.
This year, their planned “Beach Ball” got deflated with news of ongoing public event restrictions. But not having a chance to come together in person wasn’t going to stop them from joining together in spirit to continue supporting Childhelp.
Event co-Chairs Linda Burns and Kelly Haugin set to work coordinating the event committee, the men’s committee, and the whole chapter for a “2 weeks to $200,000” virtual fundraiser. Thanks to a very generous donation from long-time supporters Jacquie and Michael Casey, all donations of $500 and more will be matched up to $50,000. E-mail chains, phone trees and Facebook friends are all primed to pick up the slack.
The fall gala might have fallen flat, but every year, Childhelp falls in love again with the caring and generous chapter members who shape our mission and help the children in our care.
In its earliest history, Childhelp faced uncertainty and adversity. In the wake of conflict, children needed care, and now, in the wake of an epidemic, the need here at home is as great as ever. That’s why Childhelp is grateful to the men and women, girls and boys who support Childhelp and continue to give from their hearts … for the love of a child.