OPED: Nominate a PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids
Can you envision a world where children grow and thrive, free from abuse and neglect? That world is within our reach. Child abuse is a public health crisis that claimed 34 lives in Pennsylvania in 2015. But the good news is that child maltreatment is preventable. We know that for every tragic case we read or see in the news, there are scores of other incidents in which someone intervened and made a positive difference in a child’s life. Good parenting programs, strong community awareness efforts, and proven training in recognizing and reporting abuse can significantly reduce and, in some cases, prevent abuse and neglect from happening.
The knowledge that each one of us holds the power to protect children is the foundation of the new PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids Awards sponsored by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) and the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU). April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month and the blue ribbon is the symbol of hope for children to have that safe life.
PFSA and PSECU are teaming up to recognize publicly some of the professional, volunteer, and everyday heroes in our communities who step up to safeguard children. They are folks who recognize both the terrible financial and emotional toll child abuse exacts on our society, and who have protected kids. We urge you to join us in this campaign by nominating someone you know and respect who is an ambassador, an advocate, a guardian angel for the commonwealth’s most precious resource — our children.
To nominate a PA Blue Ribbon Champion, please download and submit the submission form available at www.pablueribbonchampion.org. A Blue Ribbon panel of child welfare experts from across the commonwealth will evaluate the nominations and select four honorees — two from within the professional ranks and two everyday residents who have made a profound and positive difference in the lives of children. Then, make a plan to join us at the State Capitol in Harrisburg on April 5 at Noon for our Rally for Children. We’ll present these awards and remind everyone of the magical difference one person can make in saving a child’s life.
Margaret Mead once said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever did.” We can build communities that nurture and safeguard our children, our future. The power is in our hands. Be a PA Blue Ribbon Champion because every child deserves to grow and thrive, and enjoy a safe childhood.
— Angela Liddle is president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Karen Roland is assistant vice president of marketing for the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union.