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.
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.
Dear Friends of the Prevention Center,
“What do we tell our children?” Our clients and community have been asking us this question and trying to understand its meaning after the unanticipated results of our national election. Many members of our community — women; immigrants; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; LGBTQ people; people with disabilities — felt directly threatened by the words spoken during this election season. Fear exists of what might happen now.
Delia Ehrlich was a passionate philanthropist. The Prevention Center was among the numerous causes that she supported through her membership in the Auxiliary. Delia facilitated numerous fundraisers and grants in support of the Children’s Snack Time program, as well as, the Holiday Toy Program. She was a stalwart supporter of the Annual Luncheon.
On Thursday, 600+ people gathered together at the Fairmont Hotel to show their support for our one shared mission: to stop child abuse in our city. It was the 19th Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon. I am proud that we raised essential funds to support the children and families we serve , but what really got me was the passion and excitement in the room. It was inspiring to see so many allies in one room dedicated to protecting children. It gives me hope that we can, in fact, end child abuse in this city. It gives me hope for the future of our community.
For the first time ever, San Francisco’s City Hall will be lit up blue on Tuesday, April 5 in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. City Hall’s blue dome will serve as a symbol of our city coming together to shine a light on child abuse and remind us that everyone has a part in strengthening families and keeping kids safe.
How many children should live in harm’s way?
We had to ask ourselves this very question last year as we undertook to create a five year Strategic Agenda. Our mission was, and will continue to be, to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact, but it was finally time to determine a number we would hold ourselves accountable to in the coming years — will we leave behind 50 percent of San Francisco’s children, or 25, or 10.