Friday, October 22, 2010

Support Childhelp

Several years ago when I was just a brand new mother, I met a fascinating woman in my ward. At the time she was the mother of eight handsome sons. She was amazing and I was in awe of her. She always looked fabulous. Her boys were well behaved and talented. For Halloween she made them all themed costumes. One year they came as various characters from The Lord of the Rings. She helped at the elementary school--teaching Spanish in the classes. She's also brilliant and a great public speaker. I'm not naive enough to think that things were always perfect, but I was and am pretty impressed. Since then, she and her husband have also been blessed with two little girls and we both moved away from that neighborhood.

Utah Dad and I ran into her at Costco last week and she invited us to the Childhelp Wasatch Front Utah Chapter's Kick-off Fundraiser dinner at Noah's Ark. She serves on the committee, helped sponsor the event, spoke about the joys and challenges of being a mother and created the amazing cake. Needless to say, I am still in awe of her.

I had never heard of the Childhelp organization before. I did a little research before the event and I was especially impressed by the amazing women who founded the organization years ago and spoke briefly last night. Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson were actresses entertaining the troops with the USO in the late 1950's when they came upon a group of small children who were living on the streets of Tokyo. They learned that they were Amerasian children and were unwelcome at the local orphanages. Together these women organized orphanages and homes for these unwanted children and eventually the mixed children born during the Vietnam War. The foundation was then called International Orphans, Inc. but became Childhelp when they began to focus on helping the young victims of child abuse here in the United States.

The theme for the new Wasatch Front Utah Chapter is "Rescue the Future" and they plan to help abused children by creating and donating "Art in a Bag" which will help children heal and gain self-confidence by developing their individual creativity. They believe that "together we can turn impossible situations into endless possibilities".

The event was organized with art in mind and several local artists set up a gallery. Utah Dad and I enjoyed the incredible art and local talent. We especially loved the paintings of trees by Douglas Aagard. We also enjoyed the music and were delighted to see and hear our favorite violinist who was once just a little girl in our ward's primary.

Besides my friend Deborah Fletcher, the founders of Childhelp, Ruth Van Buren-Stevens and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff spoke during dinner. They were inspiring and reminded us again of the value of our children and the importance to protect them and keep them safe.

You can help Childhelp help the abused and neglected children by becoming a member of Childhelp or donating directly to the foundation.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Thank you so much for attending our event last night and for such a fabulous write-up. Had I known you were there I would have introduced myself! We will be linking to your feature on our press page--hope that's okay!