SAN ANTONIO - It’s no mistake that ChildSafe, Bexar County’s only advocacy organization for children of abuse and neglect, chose April to hit a lofty $1 million goal.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. ChildSafe's tag line, "No excuse: Stop Child Abuse," is its main community outreach platform for helping families affected by abuse and neglect.
ChildSafe served more than 4,300 children last year, and CEO Kim Abernethy said at the end of February this year, the organization has already seen a 32 percent increase in the number of children that depend on ChildSafe for counseling.
That’s not the only jump in clients. Abernethy said ChildSafe served 16 percent more children than it did the previous year.
“The numbers keep going up,” Abernethy said. “We do not want to send any child away or put them on a waiting list for counseling.”
Stat: In the U.S., a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, according to childhelp.org.
ChildSafe is going for $1 million with the help of the community, and a matching grant up to $100,000 from the Wade Richmond Foundation.
Dollar for dollar, community members can contribute and have their donation matched.
The goal didn’t begin at $1 million, Abernethy said Thursday during a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in far west Bexar County. Numbers ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 were thrown around. But that wasn’t enough.
Stat: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday, according to childhelp.org.
Abernethy said with $1 million, ChildSafe would be able to serve an additional 2,000 children.
ChildSafe will report back at the end of the month. If you would like to help the organization reach its goal, visit their website to watch a video, share the news on social media, and make a contribution.
Another way ChildSafe is spreading the word about its mission is through cardboard kids. They are the miniature cardboard cutouts in the shape of a child that people can decorate, name, and take with them wherever they go to be an advocate for children and for ChildSafe's mission.
Download your own Cardboard Kid for your tablet or phone (by tapping and holding the image), decorate it with your device's photo editing app, then share it with us on the KSAT Connect app.
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