March 26--Blue is the color of April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and you can help.
Many local organizations will spread the color with a variety of events to support child abuse prevention. Whether through donation or participation, the community can show its support for the campaign with these April events:
Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center
Kim Henderson, the development director at Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center, said she hopes April will bring the topic to people's minds.
"A lot of people don't realize that for every case that is called in or every case that we see of child abuse or neglect, there are two more out there that go unreported," Henderson said. "We're having events this month to remind people that it's out there."
The ECCAC provides services at no cost to children, parents and caregivers. The Center recently has incorporated therapy dogs and will soon present videos featuring the dogs to help educate children on abuse prevention.
Donations can be made year-round at eccac.org.
--Paint the Town Blue: Businesses and individuals can make a $100 donation and, in return, will receive a blue wreath and yard sign that volunteers made and a stuffed animal delivered to them the week of March 27. You can order Paint the Town Blue packages at eccac.org or via contact with Henderson at 833-9237, ext. 283, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Strand Against Abuse: Turn your hair blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month. ECCAC has partnered with As You Like It Salon in Mary Esther, so clients can get a blue strand extension and show their support against child abuse for a $25 donation during April. Two people can do this for a $35 donation.
"It's not permanent," Henderson said. "So, hopefully people will get a kick out of it."
All proceeds will benefit ECCAC because As You Like It will donate the product. As You Like It Salon is at 323 Page Bacon Road, Mary Esther. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 664-2954.
--Donate Your Dime: Bag your groceries with blue in mind. Whole Foods Market in Destin Commons teamed up with the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center for the Donate Your Dime program. Each time a shopper uses their own bag at Whole Foods, they get a dime. This campaign allows them to donate that dime back to ECCAC. Upon checkout, customers can choose to donate cash back to the Center from April 9 through July 2. Emerald Coast Advocacy Center will give out bags to the first 50 people who say they saw it in the ECCAC newsletter or in the Northwest Florida Daily News 4-6 p.m. April 10 in front of Whole Foods Market, 4402 Legendary Drive, Destin.
--Proclamation Day: ECCAC will host small ceremonies at its locations to begin Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Niceville location ceremony is the morning of April 5 at 401 McEwen Drive. The DeFuniak Springs location ceremony is the morning of April 7 at 336 College Ave. RSVP is required. Call 833-9327, ext. 256.
--T-shirts: People can purchase Child Abuse Prevention Month T-shirts online to show their support at http://www.eccac.org/new-products-1/tshirt-for-child-abuse-prevention-month.
--Tours: Starting in April, ECCAC will offer monthly tours in which people can visit without an appointment the same day each month to either center to learn about what they do, volunteering or donating. The first DeFuniak Springs location tour is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 25 at 336 College Ave. The first Niceville location tour is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 27 at 401 McEwen Drive.
--Coffee Donations: All locally owned Costa Enterprises McDonald's locations will donate proceeds from Monday coffee sales during the month of April to ECCAC. To view a list of stores, visit mcdmc.com.
Santa Rosa Women's Club
Santa Rosa Women's Club will partner with Santa Rosa Kids' House for the second year for its Blue to Better campaign.
Sheree Northrup, chair of the home life committee, said the Gulf Breeze volunteer service organization feels this is one of the most important aspects to serve in the community.
"It's something that is personally near and dear to the hearts of people in our club," Northrup said. "We feel like what the Santa Rosa Kids' House does to protect children and help them ... they do such outstanding work."
For information on club membership, call President Sally Stanford at 932-2157 or visit the club's Facebook page, GFWC-Santa Rosa Woman's Club.
--Blue bows: Santa Rosa Women's Club will make blue bows with materials from Santa Rosa Kids' House and place them throughout Gulf Breeze. The club encourages residents and business owners to participate by saying "yes" to displaying the symbols of awareness when a member stops by. To request a blue bow for your business or neighborhood, call Northrup at 678-381-6085 or email her at email@example.com.
--Speaker: The Santa Rosa Women's Club will address child abuse and its impact in Santa Rosa County, hosting speaker Karen Barber, Santa Rosa County School District Director of Federal Programs. Barber facilitates the Title 1 program for disadvantaged children and youth. Barber will speak at the group's monthly meeting at 10:30 a.m. April 4 at Tiger Point Golf Club, 1255 Country Club Road, Gulf Breeze. Lunch is $15 and reservations are required by March 29. To make reservations, call Mary Eder at 325-9840. The event will also include opportunities to win gift baskets with all proceeds going to the Homeless Education Program for Santa Rosa County Schools. Members will wear blue to the meeting.
--Fundraiser: Santa Rosa Women's Club will partner with Newk's Eatery restaurants in Pensacola for two April evening awareness and fundraising events to benefit Santa Rosa Kids' House and Children in Crisis. Find out more information on the Santa Rosa Women's Club Facebook page.
--Pinwheel: On a state level, blue pinwheel gardens in April represent child victims of abuse and violence. For more information, visit http://preventchildabuse.org/resource/pinwheels-for-prevention/
Santa Rosa Kids' House
Santa Rosa Kids' House's mission is to deliver a well-coordinated and multi-disciplined response to child abuse in an environment that puts the needs of the child first, according to its website.
For more information about Santa Rosa Kids' House or to make a donation, visit santarosakidshouse.com.
--Dime to Donate: Santa Rosa Kids' House will post flyers in the area for Dime to Donate. People can bring these flyers to Texas Roadhouse in Milton 4-8 p.m. April 4, and the restaurant will donate 10 percent of their receipts to Santa Rosa Kids' House. The restaurant will also have a donation table set up April 3-6 for items from the following donation list, giving those who donate a free Cactus Blossom or Fried Pickles. People may donate diapers, wipes, baby bottles, formula, pacifiers, pacifier clips, baby hairbrushes, baby nail clippers, snacks, baby clothes, microwaveable meals, bottled water, hangers, children's underwear, ladies deodorant, hairbrushes, school supplies, cookie dough and juice packs. Texas Roadhouse is at 6645 U.S. Highway 90, Milton.
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