Child abuse has doubled over the years in Wichita Falls. April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month, and there are multiple non-profit organizations that reach out to help young kids across the area. Several of these agencies are helped with a relatively new organization called Hands to Hands.
The Hands to Hands Community Fund is just three years old, but it is already making a big difference in children's lives. The chairman says six of its seven benefiting agencies are primarily directed toward youth and helping children with character development, self-esteem and support.
According to non-profit child organization Childhelp, each day in the U.S. five children die of abuse or neglect, and 3.3 million reports are made each year. Vice Chairman Ty Thacker told Newschannel 6, "Recently I was at the children's home, and there were two young people in there between two and three years old. They'd been pulled out of a home, and unfortunately it was a drug-related home." Hands to Hands Community Fund Agencies include The Arc, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campire, Child Advocates, and Children's Aid Society.
Chairman Kevin Goldstein says, "Children's Aids Society and CASA, it's unbelievable when you look at the statistics of the county and what we are faced around here. We are almost double the average of child abuse. We read the papers about the drug problems that are going on in our county and area. Unfortunately, when you look at drugs, there are always kids behind it." These agencies provide the love, guidance, and nurturing children need to become successful adults. But the cost of running the programs isn't cheap, financially or physically.
Contributions to the non-profit programs keep them going. The chairmen told Newschannel 6 even if you can't make monetary donations, your time is essential to these children. People can volunteer and be positive role models for the kids. Thacker says, "It's real, it's here, it's heartbreaking. And we are making a difference. Don't think it'll ever go away unfortunately, so that's why we've got to continue to see as a community that has these programs."
There are different easy ways to make donations such as having a certain amount deducted from your payroll Check/. Check out the Hands to Hands Community Fund website: www.handstohandsfund.org