SAN ANTONIO – Thursday is Reveal Day for ChildSafe's Cardboard Kids community campaign, and it’s why people might notice cardboard cutouts of children popping up around town.
"As you can see, she has a little bunny here that makes her feel comfortable, and she's got her little boo-boo arm, but it will be getting better soon," said Toni Bonoan-Terry, voter registration processor at the Bexar County Elections Department.
"Customers walk in and they want to know right away, 'What is this? What is this?' So it gives us an opportunity to explain to them why we did the cardboard children, to represent and call awareness to the child abuse in San Antonio and surrounding communities," said Sharon Mercer, vice president marketing manager for Broadway Bank’s Medical Center Banking Center.
The campaign is meant to put a face to child abuse in an effort to raise awareness. Something participants like Bonoan-Terry take very seriously.
"Cecilia has been through a lot. She gets in trouble for things kids always do, so I think she is seeking kindness in people. She doesn’t expect it, but she's hoping for it. I think a lot of kids are like that. They just want someone to care and love them," Bonoan-Terry said.
ChildSafe handed out 45,000 cardboard kids to local residents, schools and businesses. Each display represents a real-life victim.
"(It) makes me sad to think there are that many children in San Antonio suffering from abuse and neglect,” Mercer said.
"(We do it to) bring a lens on the issue and show the community how important it is, so we can work towards the solutions. We need to, have to get those numbers down,” said Aaron Perez, project analyst at the Bexar County Elections Department.
"Because that’s a life you can save," Bonoan-Terry added.
The public can continue to spread awareness online and on social media by posting a picture of their cardboard kids with the #CardboardKidsSA.