There is something magical that happens when a woman becomes a mother. She blossoms and becomes nurturing, selfless and fiercely protective; all in the name of raising her child. I know because I recently became a mother about five months ago.
My journey has just begun, and I know that raising a child is a big challenge. It’s even more difficult when women have to face it alone with inadequate means and while coping with domestic violence. Children need a solid foundation on which to build their knowledge, self-worth and health. Typically, parents provide the building blocks for that foundation. Those without one are “at-risk.”
Exactly what factors put a child at-risk? Examples include exposure to substance abuse and other factors like poverty or domestic violence. All of these things weigh heavily on a developing child. This was underscored at our 1st Annual Foundation Auction Gala held on September 24th, with a presentation delivered by the new Executive Director, Melissa Pershing, who represented The Julian Center, one of the charities the Foundation currently supports.
She spoke of the women who leave their abusers in the middle of the night, fleeing with their pajama-clad children and just a few dollars in their pocket. They arrive broken at the shelter. The shelter helps them heal with all of their wonderful resources—a place to live, a stocked pantry, clean clothing, counseling, career guidance, and more. All of these things are critical to a mother raising a child.
That’s why participating in the Auction Gala held more meaning to me than just bidding big, winning a prize and making a donation to support a worthy cause. It meant being able to help build a strong foundation for children who desperately need and deserve something positive in their lives.
As co-chair of the auction, I’m pleased to report that we raised $45,000 that evening thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors, donors and attendees. The proceeds will benefit our charities: Indiana FIRST, Save the Children and The Julian Center.
Support doesn’t always need to come in the form of a monetary donation. What are some of the creative ways that you’ve helped an at-risk child?
Denise M. Meyer