I first met Melinda while volunteering at our children’s school. We immediately clicked. I have always been in awe of her ability to throw herself wholeheartedly into her career, her family, and her work in the community. She’s not only a fantastic mother, but an astute business woman and a staunch advocate for children and parents. I am so excited to have Melinda as the chair of our board. I have no doubt that under her helm we’ll be better, stronger, and can make great strides toward our goal of ending child abuse in San Francisco. Meet Melinda.
About a month ago at our annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon, I shared our vision with the 600+ supporters and advocates who filled Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Together, we not only raised more funds than ever ($750,000+) to support the work of the Prevention Center, but the energy around our mission of preventing child abuse and our goal of ending it in our city was palpable. It was a truly special day.
To all who joined us on May 12, thank you. To our chairs Wayne Osborne and Jill Woodman, and to our auction hosts David Glickman and Richard Pio Roda, thank you. To our keynote, Wes Moore your words will forever inspire me and call me to not just compassion but action — thank you. To each and every one of you, thank you for joining us in this work.
For those who were not able to be in the room with us, I would like to share with you my remarks — why it is I believe we can end child abuse. You can read them right here.
It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month: time to stand up and step out. Join us online and in-person at San Francisco City Hall (April 4 @ 11AM) to show your support for the children of San Francisco. Every child deserves a safe and happy childhood; yet, our city continues to have one of the highest rates of child abuse in the Bay Area. While the widening economic divide in the City puts more children at risk for abuse, child abuse crosses all zip codes, socio-economic levels, ethnicities, and family structures.
As a long-time community leader and volunteer, Cathy worked tirelessly to help parents and caregivers create a safe world for their children. She volunteered two decades at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center’s TALK Line, a 24/7 phone support line for parents in-crisis. Cathy deeply understood what families needed and the importance of listening and simply being there in times of crisis and joy. She was the person to whom everyone went — stabilizing the lives of children and providing safety and acceptance to parents. She was the helping hand and the supportive voice for so many struggling families in our community. Cathy also co-lead the Prevention Center’s board of directors for many years, helping to steer the organization forward during a critical point in its history. Under her guidance, a strong stable organization persevered and will endure for years to come.
What can I say about Natalie? She is unquestionably one of the most dedicated advocates for children and child abuse prevention that I have the privilege of knowing. From her time volunteering in the Playroom as a high schooler to her time as chair of our Board of Directors with children of her own, Natalie and the Prevention Center have grown up together. Natalie, thank you for your service, your passion, and your commitment. I have no doubt that you and your family will stay part of the Prevention Center for many years to come.
‘Tis the season of joy and happiness. Well, at least that’s what commercials, songs, and society says to us. And, for many it is. But right along with the cup of cheer, they’re is a pound of stress.
Racing down Waller Street as fast as she could with her little 2-year-old legs, Emily abruptly stopped in front of the fire house and pointed towards the doorbell. She knew where she was headed, and she wanted to get to the Playroom as quickly as possible. Her mother, Denise, finally caught up and lifted Emily to push the bell.
It’s the day in which we focus not on ourselves, but on our community. The day in which we rally support for our cause: a community without child abuse.
Each holiday season, we decorate our walls, and ensure our telephone hotline is well staffed — because it’s the time of year we receive the most crisis calls. We turn our Playroom into a toy store to ensure every family can afford to have a festive and joyous holiday season, helping to reduce the stress during this already stressful time of year. The time of year we ask for your support.