A blue ribbon is an awareness symbol for child abuse.
And CAC’s The Hope Center is rapidly becoming a leading advocate in the fight against child neglect and abuse in our Cleveland and Bradley County community.
Like all nonprofit organizations whose outreach is targeting a specific need in society, CAC must have the financial resources to make its work available and it must work to make the surrounding community aware of these crimes against our children and the initiatives that are underway to combat them.
As we mentioned in Wednesday’s edition of this newspaper, 5K road races are becoming a popular outlet by many organizations — most of them nonprofit — not only to raise needed funding, but perhaps even more importantly to spread the word of their efforts and to better familiarize area residents, and potential supporters, with their group.
Such events are a “win-win” for all and we explained how in Wednesday’s editorial. The organizations receive invaluable revenue from registration fees and sponsorships, their cause is better presented to the community and 5K participants earn the benefit of heart-healthy, physical activity.
The biggest winners are the recipients of the nonprofit programs, many of whom are working hard to better themselves but who sometimes need a gentle hand up. Other times, they simply need a voice. When need is revealed, answers will follow and this is the purpose of community awareness.
This weekend’s Blue Ribbon Run will raise funds to allow CAC to provide “Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light,” a child abuse prevention program that is made available to other community organizations free of charge. Training costs The Hope Center $10 per person; however, the nonprofit wants to offer the helpful program without charge to other groups and individuals whose own work can make a difference in our hometown.
For any who are unfamiliar with CAC and its work, the organization partners with local courts and law enforcement to provide evidence in cases where an investigation is seeking to determine the presence of the sexual abuse of a child. The center also provides counseling services to children who are referred by these sources.
In brief, CAC provides a prevention geared toward adults that focuses on child abuse awareness. It also teaches how to protect our children. Any organization that works closely with children can benefit from CAC’s services and the “Darkness to Light” curriculum. Such organizations could include churches, youth groups and sports groups, among others.
For those interested in signing up for Saturday’s Blue Ribbon Run road race, it is another in a long line of people-first events in our community that are reaching out to others in hope of reaching in to help alleviate a societal menace.
Registration cost for individuals is $30 on the day of the race, and begins at 8 a.m. Registration for a family of four is $80. Registration includes a participation T-shirt for which sponsors are being sought for $100.
The race begins at 9 a.m. A children’s “Kiddie K” walk for those 12 and under will start at 9:15 a.m. Cost for children in the “Kiddie K” is $10. The events are being held at Cleveland’s beautiful Fletcher Park.
To register, call The Hope Center at 790-5740.
Remember, such events are no longer just about the health. Now, it’s as much cause and awareness.
Each is just as important.