The Richmond Court House’s lawn is about to turn blue, as the Exchange Clubs of Fort Bend expands their message.
“In the past, the Exchange Clubs would come together and tie blue ribbons on most everything that did not move in downtown Historic Richmond to acknowledge April as Child Abuse Awareness Month, but this year, we wanted to do something that would make more of an impact,” said Mike Reichek, president, Exchange Club of Fort Bend.
According to Reichek, this year, the courthouse lawn, in downtown Richmond on Hwy 90, will be the site of 1,350 white stakes with blue ribbons.
“Each stake and blue ribbon will represent a child who received services at Child Advocates in 2011, yet, we do not know how many children remain in the shadows, and need help and that is something that keeps our Exchange group working hard to raise funds for prevention,” Reichek said.
There are many resources in the community for parents, such as Child Advocates and the Escape Center. There are also parenting groups and groups to help parents who are struggling financially.
“When the economy is bad, parents are under more stress and it almost becomes the cliché of going home after work and kicking the dog, but in these cases it is the child that is harmed. It does not have to be this way. There is help for those facing all types of challenges and this is the news and awareness we are seeking to spread,”Reichek said.
Throughout the month of April, there will be a number of different events drawing attention to child abuse prevention.
April 2, 5:15 p.m., the Exchange Clubs will come together for a dedication ceremony for the “Sea of Blue” on the Richmond Courthouse’s northwest corner lawn facing Hwy 90.
“Elected officials, county employees and others in the area will be attending. There will be one or two proclamations read by city officials. This Sea of Blue will remain on the courthouse lawn throughout the month of April and we sincerely hope all those who drive Hwy 90 and those who work in the area will see each of these stakes daily and know, each blue ribbon represents a child who was abused. We hope it will make an impact,” Reichek said.
“Saturday April 7, the Exchange Clubs will gather to decorate Morton Street with blue ribbons to remind people of the seriousness of child abuse. These ribbons will also remain up throughout the month,” Reichek said.
After the blue ribbons are up in Historic Richmond along Morton Street, the Lone Star Exchange Club of Richmond, will host their 2012 Blue Ribbon Event recognizing Child Abuse Awareness Month, Tuesday, April 10 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Morton Street in the Square, at Mayor Moore’s statue by City Hall.
At each of the events and ceremonies, the Exchange Clubs in Fort Bend County will be passing out brochures and pamphlets on parenting tips and resources.
“We want to do all that we can to stop child abuse, this is a problem in our county, but together we can change this,”Reichek asked.
The community is invited to the events, and those interested in making a donation to help educate parents and families, and to assist with care when these families are in a crisis mode, please call 281-575-1145.