Every day in our country, 1,900 children are abused. Child abuse continues to be prevalent in our society with one in 10 children being sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
Child abuse prevention and services are imperative in every community because, left untreated, child abuse is linked to higher rates of drug use, teen pregnancy, mental illness and even shorter life spans. The economic impact to our society is significant.
Providing free services to child abuse victims is indispensable in every community, and Lincoln County has ensured that the children have a place to receive services.
Junior’s House, Inc., was established in 2003 in honor of a special little boy named Junior who tragically died as the result of child abuse. Capt. Joyce McConnell engaged the Lincoln County community and opened a child advocacy center to ensure that child abuse victims receive the services and support they need and to honor the brief life of six-year-old Junior.
Since that time, Junior’s House has continued to expand, and thousands of child abuse victims have been served. Junior’s House offers services in Lincoln, Moore, Bedford, and Marshall counties.
“Each year, we plant a pinwheel garden to represent the almost 500 children we serve annually due to allegations of abuse and neglect,” said Crystal Guess, executive director. “Each pinwheel you see planted in front of Junior’s House in April represents 10 abused and neglected children we served.
“We welcome the community to assist us in planting our annual pinwheel garden,” she added.
The pinwheel garden will be planted on April 8 at 704 W. Maple St. from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
“We will also be celebrating our facility dog Allin’s third birthday,” Guess noted.
“We continue to need your support to help the numerous victims we see each year. Every day, new referrals come in, and every day we have another family to help,” she said. “We are also very proud of our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, and we are always looking for community volunteers who want to work directly with abused and neglected children in our community.”
A new training class for volunteers will start in August.
“We have hundreds of children to serve and very few volunteers,” she said. “Our volunteers will tell you that helping the abused and neglected children in this county is more rewarding than they could have ever imagined.”
Please plan to support Junior’s House in planting the pinwheel garden and participating in the upcoming Blue Ribbon Walk.
“We hope that you will join us on May 15th at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds for our annual Blue Ribbon Walk to honor Junior’s memory and raise awareness about child abuse,” said Guess. “Kickoff time is at 9:30 a.m. with Representative Pat Marsh officiating.”
Walker forms can be picked up at Junior’s House or on their Facebook page. Please register by April 19 to ensure you receive a free t-shirt.
Please like Junior’s House on Facebook for more information and updates about Junior’s House, Inc.