Why is SAFEchild so important to us?
Well, that’s easy…. We are the parents of a four year old daughter and a newborn son. When our first child was born, from the minute we met her, we knew we had never known a love so special, strong and fierce. That connection alone caused us become big advocates of the prevention of child abuse, which led us to SAFEchild.
In 2009, Lauren became a volunteer for SAFEchild’s Welcome Baby program, a support and mentoring group that gives struggling new parents a way to reach out to other moms for advice and parenting tips in a safe and nurturing relationship. The realization that so many women in our community “parent” alone, and without support, strengthened our dedication to the mission of SAFEchild, which is to Stop Abuse for Every child.
Lauren’s relationship with the two moms she mentored cemented our connection to SAFEchild and the community in a much deeper way than supporting organizations like SAFEchild through special events.
The ugly truth is that abuse happens every day in our community. Our eyes have been opened to this reality, watching our brave relatives and friends share their pain and suffering from sexual abuse with the community – in hopes of stopping the cycle so that another child will not have to endure that hell.
It is our civic duty to give the children “a voice” – to speak out against the abuse, to give them a safe haven like the SAFEchild Advocacy Center if the abuse occurs, and provide support groups for them and their families, so that they can strive to live free of abuse.
No one should be allowed to take away the innocence of a young child, and no one should be held prisoner by their past. SAFEchild works everyday to insure that every child will have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment. We are so proud to be a part of such an amazing organization that gives so much to the community.
It is time for the community to support SAFEchild. We, the donors and the volunteers of SAFEchild, are working to make OUR community stronger by supporting this wonderful organization and thus taking a stand: no child should be abused physically, sexually or emotionally. The cycle must be broken and turning away will not accomplish the task at hand – which is to give the children a voice filled with joy, as opposed to fear.Lauren and Jason Smith Parents – Owners of 18 Seaboard and Cantina 18 – SAFEchild donors and volunteers Community Chairs, 2012 Believe in SAFEchild Campaign