On Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10:30 a.m., a press conference to raise awareness about the local epidemic of child abuse and neglect and the community initiative Paint Our Town Blue will take place on the lawn of the Genesee County Circuit Court located at 900 S Saginaw St. in Flint. All community members are invited to this press conference where community leaders such as Congressman Dan Kildee, Dr. Brian Nolan and Randy Rauch will speak about this issue.
Immediately following the press conference, there will be a ceremonial balloon release commemorating the 1,640 children who died nationwide from abuse and neglect in 2012. At 2 p.m., several churches and congregations will ring their bells 18 times in remembrance of the 18 children who died last year in Genesee County from abuse and neglect. Throughout the day, members of the community are invited to Whaley Children’s Center to write letters to their legislators in Washington D.C. and Lansing.
“Our goal is to inform the community about the prevalence of abuse and neglect here in our community,” said Kevin Roach, President and CEO of Whaley Children’s Center. “It’s important that the community understands that each of us has a critical role to play in preventing child abuse and neglect and protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.”
Many other community members have joined forces to strengthen this initiative. Elected officials are joining members of the medical community, judicial systems, non-profits and businesses to show support by becoming prevention partners and bringing about greater awareness. The Paint Our Town Blue campaign will run throughout the month of April—the national Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In addition to the press conference, community members are invited to get involved with the Paint Our Town Blue initiative by wearing blue clothing on Wear Blue Day, Friday, April 25, 2014. In addition, a candlelight vigil will also be help on April 25 at 9 p.m. in remembrance of the children who have lost their lives as a result of abuse and neglect.
To learn more or get involved with the Paint Our Town Blue Campaign, please contact Katrina Khouri at (810) 234-3603 or visit PaintOurTownBlue.org. It’s critical to do something now.
Whaley Children’s Center is an independent, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1926 that provides residential child care services to children age 5- 17 years old who have suffered chronic and profound abuse and neglect. The services provided to children and families include residential treatment, group homes, and family counseling and aftercare service. To learn more about Whaley Children’s Center, visit www.whaleychildren.org.