April is recognized for many different causes. One, in which our agency supports, is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness. Many people and organizations wear blue, or they may “plant” blue pinwheels to raise awareness. For the past 48 years, Helping Hands, Inc. has committed itself to caring for adolescent victims of abuse as well as providing services to prevent repetition of the cycle of abuse.

The residents we serve from all over the state are, unfortunately, victims of child abuse and neglect. As an agency, we strive to help these young people by providing tools in which they can use to overcome the tragic moments in their lives. As advocates, we must bring attention to the trauma that is associated with abuse and neglect. Not only do they suffer abuse at the hands of their caregivers, but also experience separation from everything they know. They are often moved to different schools, moved away from friends, separated from family, and everything that was familiar to them. Even in this dark moment of their lives, we seek to spark a light for their futures.

Here, at our agency, we ensure staff members are trained in different aspects of abuse and neglect. This ensures we provide the level of care and services needed. Even though we are known for our residential services, we also provide independent life skills classes, community service opportunities, job readiness programs, and other services to prepare these young people for their futures.

During this month, I hope you remember the victims of child abuse. These young people are tasked with becoming a survivor in a situation in which most people would not be able to do so. The resiliency of our young people inspires us to continue to give hope, nurture, and advocate for our youth. We strive to continue to provide a space where youth can create goals for their futures, and reach those goals. It is my hope that if we continue to do our part along with support from you, our community, then we will be able to continue to shape brighter futures!