A lot has changed in the last 12 months I guess - a lot that has given me less time and inclination to blog. Is this a good thing, I guess that remains to be seen.... I guess the truth is I feel completely settled here in NWArkansas. I tell people that it is as if everything that has gone before was so that I would be here now - it probably makes no sense, but I truly feel that this is where I am meant to be. I feel totally at home in my surroundings and with the people here, everything is just a good fit. I know some of my family do not necessarily understand that, but there were a lot of bad memories for me in England. Yes I have family there, my daughter is still there, and boy do I miss her every single day, but she is an adult, and she is doing what she wants with her life and there is no way that I would want to stamp my wants onto her life - she has to follow her own dreams and she knows that no matter what, I've got her back and if needed I will be there asap. We talk regularly, what's app and text pretty much daily - we don't actually let the distance between us become a distance between us. We share a wonderful bond that is unique and cherished and stronger than most!
Anyway, I am rambling on and digressing from the whole point of this post (I ramble a lot more these days)...The CAC, I now am employed at the CAC, well at the Cherishing Children Cottage... I provide Daycare for the children of the staff of the CAC, so they can do their jobs of looking after the children who come into the CAC without having to worry about the welfare of their own children. It's a fun and frustrating and rewarding and exhausting job. My days are typically 9½ hrs straight with no real break to speak of. Some days I long for nap time but with babies and toddlers, you can never guarantee even a moments respite, so I make sure I keep my coffee pot full and have learned that sometimes a little monitored children's TV programming can be a wonderful thing!. I love my job immensely; anyone who has ever worked with children knows that even on the darkest of days one of your little charges will do something that will make it all worthwhile....anyway, I'm rambling again!
On August 9th & 10th the CAC is having its Annual SkyDive for Kids. The Sky Dive is a huge fundraising event. The CAC relies heavily on fundraising to keep its doors open, and this year I am going to participate in the Sky Dive and throw myself out of a perfectly good airplane! I have been told that the plane trip up is probably the worst bit because the plane is a rickety old thing and it is almost a relief to jump out before it falls apart!!!! We will see how true this is on the day!
In order to take part, I have pledged to raise money for the CAC. I have set myself a target of $1,750. I believe and I truly hope that this is an achievable amount. It is certainly an extremely worthwhile cause for people to donate to. When you look at the figures for abused children they are truly scary.
Last year alone in Benton County NWArkansas, the CAC opened 646 new cases.
Of those, 470 were children aged 0 to 12 and 176 were aged 13 to 18.....
239 of those children were abused by a parent or step-parent....
187 of them were abused by someone they knew outside of family...
148 were abused by a family member other than a parent...
the other 72 were abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend of someone unknown.....
79% of those children were Caucasian
7% other non determined race
3% African American
1% American Indian
1% Asian/Pacific Islander
406 of the children were female
240 of the children were male
This is just in one County in one state of this vast country - you do the math! It's truly horrific. It actually makes me feel completely sick to my stomach to think that so many of the nations innocent children are being abused in the this way!
This is why the work of the CAC of Benton County is so hugely important - why the work of every single CAC across the country is so important. I can't possibly help them all, but I can do my bit to help this one, and I am hoping that you will want to help me to help them and will make even just a small donation to my Sky Dive fund.
There's a button over there on the right side of the blog that you can click that will take you through to my fund-raising page. All money raised will be collected and transferred directly to the CAC by Crowdwise Fundraising - it's what they do!
There is a video on my fundraiser page there that you can see, which was made by the staff of the CAC. I can speak from personal knowledge, because I know everyone on this video - they are hugely wonderful kind and generous people. They deal with heartbreaking scenario's every day of their lives, and they keep smiling, because they know that by doing what they do, in the way that they do it, means that the children are protected from further trauma by countless interviews and examinations and being passed from pillar to post. Once a child comes into the CAC, they are under the care of a very small and personal team who will stay with that child throughout their journey and long after their case has come to trial. Often these cases can take years to come to trial - but the staff at the CAC don't abandon ship part way through, or hand off to someone different - once they take on a case, they are committed to that case to the end, and that is what makes their work so special, and that is why I am committed to raising money so they can carry on the fantastic work that they do.
Anything that you can afford to donate is gratefully appreciated....It doesn't matter where you live in the world, I'll take cash from anywhere, so please if you feel like you can - reach out a hand to a child who really needs the help and lets empower children to find their voice!