Content Warning: Discussion of Abuse.
“National Day of Hope is held on the first Wednesday in April every year. It is a day of inspiration and motivation for everyone to wake up to the need to rescue children and adults who are passing through phases of abuse of different kinds, sicknesses, and traumatic experiences. The primary purpose of observing this day is to strive to put an end to child abuse and neglect. It is time to rise to the call and give hope to the hopeless, in whatever little way we can.”
I wrote a blog on the first for this cause, but I wanted to expand on it more. What does a child do that does not have hope? They think, “There is no one to save me… Why does mommy or daddy not love me? Why does no one believe me?” This leaves children with nothing to hold on to. It causes them to grow up accepting people will treat them poorly. They often have a lifetime of relationship instability. Did you know children die daily from abuse? Seems like in a modern world of educated individuals we would not still be having to talk about abuse to children. However, we are, because if we don’t there will be no hope for anyone. Abuse is alive and well. It is often the people you suspect the least.
This topic is one of those tender topics, but one that HAS to be discussed. Most of you know by now of my background with abuse. So, this is one of those things that I have direct knowledge of. Keeping that in mind I will continue.
There was a little white-headed girl full of love and hope. That little girl, who could not understand why her mommy hated her so much. That little girl is me. I always thought one day mom will love me. I mean children are amazing at being able to shake things off. I was correct but I had to wait a long time for that to happen. By the time I reached my teens, I had given up hope on myself. I would never be anything, do anything. I am nothing I thought! Over the years that little girl grew and at some point, decided she would love her mother from a distance until her mother could love her. I got smart and backed away. I saw my mother was hurting and was mentally unstable. I think more than anything compassion took over my heart. See, I was lucky I had loving kind grandparents. They buffered a lot of the abuse. Not all kids have an outlet. Can you imagine never being held, or hugged? Can you imagine having to sneak around to eat? I was in a situation where my mother took care of my basic needs, in one way having such poor health saved me from a lot of the neglect abused kids receive.
How many kids run away because there is no other outlet for them? They end up on the streets, hungry, sick, and cold. I have to wonder if these kids feel hope for getting to grow up and becoming an adult surviving the streets? I can’t imagine that would be easy. As we know, neglected runaways more often than not turn to lives of crime to take care of their basic needs. They turn to drugs to dull the pain of not knowing what love is. They do things that are unthinkable for their next high. They father children/become mothers and a sad cycle repeats.
While the day of hope is for both children and adults alike, this blog post is focusing on children /teens. What can we do to help? Have you ever been to the city and seen the homeless begging for money? “The sad truth is that there is very little housing specifically for homeless youth, and many young people feel unsafe in the shelter system that serves adults. Added to this is the fact that agencies are not allowed to serve youths under the age of 18 without parental consent. Students who have been kicked out or have run away are often unwilling or unable to obtain parental consent for services” (Found on https://www.cpsd.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=3042869&pageId=13760955#10).
I have scoured the internet for solutions for children and teens. What I have come up with is social workers through the school systems and partnering agencies have records of children and teens that have been known or thought to be homeless and they help them to find places to stay, identification cards, doctors, clothes, etc. The sad fact is most shelters just can’t help the young due to state and national laws. This being said there are still ways to help out your local shelters that do allow children and teens in with their parents.
5 Ways to help:
- Find a shelter that allows children and teens in your neighborhood.
- Donate money to the shelter.
- Donate clothes, toys, shoes, coats, book bags, school supplies, toiletries games to your local shelter.
- Donate time to your local shelters.
- Volunteer at soup kitchens and be prepared to sit down and talk to the homeless teens and help them find their way to shelters that can accommodate them.
This has been something I wanted to get involved with for a long time now.
Writing this vlog and finding so many facts about the homeless in America was alarming and made my heart hurt. If you have any non-profits and or agencies in your area that help children and teens, leave them in the comments for me to look at and study. The hope here is there are many places available for homeless families, single mothers, and people over the age of 18. There has to be a way to offer more solutions for you young. I will keep my hope alive for them. Donate to your local charities in any way you can. Keep the hope alive. xoxo, Evie
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