IMAGINE: Child Abuse Prevention Month, Volunteerism, The Madison House

Alyssa Armbrusterby Alyssa Armbruster

Not only was April Autism Awareness Month, it was also National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  And though it has passed, it is not something that should pass from our minds. To most of us, this month signifies simply small blue ribbons, but it means so much more to the children who are wedged in abusive situations.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Imagine sleeping – the purest escape from reality – until a loud crack is heard coming from the front door.  Countless stomping feet enter the house.  Incomprehensible yelling quickly erupts. Under the bed is the best chance for safety.  Before long, dark boots appear at the side of the bed.  The chaos calming in the room nearby.  A bright light surveys the room, illuminating a well-loved stuffed bear and an empty bed.  The light suddenly shines to uncover a startled face.

Gentle, quiet words soothe.  Crawling out from under the safe haven after assessing everything to be alright.  The jacket of another person in the room lights up: the letters, CPS, are incomprehensible.  Reluctantly led to a car shining bright, multicolored lights.

The screaming intensifies outside. The familiar faces of the ones you call your parents are led to a similar car, but not the same. Seated in the neighboring chair is another stuffed bear, with a ribbon around its neck, asking to be well loved. It is already more familiar and comforting than all of the soft speaking people around asking:

 “You OK champ?”

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Being torn away from your whole world – as a child trapped in an abusive family  cannot be an easy transition.  Children caught in these circumstances not only need our attention but our whole-hearted support.

One of the simplest ways to help is to donate stuffed animals that to the children that have to ride police cruisers, providing some bit of comfort  to take with them that unfamiliar adults cannot provide.

“Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” -Sherry Anderson

Secondly:  time. The Madison House through the Yakima Union Gospel Mission needs YOU! With so many deserving causes, there are few that compare to providing a light in children’s lives, playing games, preparing meals, who knows! Isn’t it worth lending them a small dose of your day to provide them with an abundance of attention and care?

Madison House’s number: (509) 457-3370

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