Earlier this year I found out that here in Benton County, Arkansas, there were 432 reported cases of child abuse in 2012. It’s a heartbreaking number for me to read and write, because these children are at a vulnerable place in their life and need all the support they can get. I have this crazy notion that every child who is born deserves to be loved, educated and supported – if not by the family, by the community. So I was happy to take a trip to Walmart and purchase goods for a SIMPLE Service project for Champions for Kids.
Located down a country road in Little Flock, Arkansas, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County serves sexually and physically abused children who have called the Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-482-5964) in a supportive, child-friendly environment.
The CAC provides counseling, examinations, advocacy, forensic interviews and an array of other services to these children and non-offending family members. These services are provided free of charge, so the CAC counts on funding and charitable donations to continue to provide these services.
As part of the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Spin Into Action campaign for Champions for Kids, I went and purchased Spinbrush For Kids toothbrushes and children’s books.
In-kind donations are accepted and distributed based on need to those who seek services from the CAC. I contacted them to make sure these items would be accepted, as many organizations often have enough or too much of some items and not enough of other items.
Even with a $50 budget, I was able to make a bit of a difference. I headed to the Spinbrush web site, where I was able to find a $2 coupon off any Spinbrush product. This includes their new item, Tooth Tunes, which do not have the spinbrush function but play two minutes of your favorite music as your child brushes his teeth. They have Tooth Tunes with songs by Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Big Time Rush, Selena Gomez and a ton of other popular artists.Two minutes is the recommended time to brush your teeth, so it’s a great way to get your kids started on a good habit. You can find a lot of information on Tooth Tunes on the website as well.
I chose to purchase the Spinbrush My Way! toothbrushes, which allow kids to personalize their toothbrush with 141 stickers to choose from. I figure that children who come to the CAC need the opportunity to express themselves, and I thought this was a great way. If you visit brushmyway.com, you can test out the My Way! toothbrushes and create a virtual My Way! toothbrush and toothpaste tube. Here’s my creation. As you can see, I refused to follow gender stereotypes, since I played with dolls AND action figures as a kid.
I also purchased a selection of children’s books, because I never realized how valuable a book was to a child until I taught a 14-year-old how to read four years ago. This was someone who had been through a very tough life and had never been read to as a child. So there was no doubt in my mind that children’s books would be part of my donation.
When I brought my donations to the CAC this week, I said to the front desk person, “I hope you all can use these.” “Oh, yeah,” she replied.
To find a Children’s Advocacy Center near you, visit www.nationalcac.org and click “Find a CAC Near You” in the menu bar.