Challenge: “Shining the Light on Children”
Bring differing factions and communities together to protect children from child abuse and neglect.
Although you would think protecting children from abuse and neglect would be a cause that brings people together, that is not always the case – especially when warring politics and special interests are involved. But if there is a will, there is a way! McFarland illuminated that way when it recommended that a state agency extend the olive branch to adversaries and host a statewide candlelight ceremony on a single night during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The key goal was to have communities across the state each host an event on the same evening, kicking off at 7 p.m. local time with an address from the governor on the statehouse lawn. These community events included child-advocacy groups, local leaders, mayors and other elected officials, judicial members, county CPS agencies and local news media.
With the help of a lot of willing souls and one go-getter state staffer (thanks Jake!), we collectively made it happen! Communities from more than 80 counties came together in a single night in April to collectively raise awareness about child abuse and neglect – and remind residents, businesses and community leaders that their eyes and ears are the radar system that helps protect children at risk.
“This was great! What a feat it was to make this happen!”