When I was first approached to donate my time for an annual fundraiser benefiting Ray of Hope Advocacy Center 6 years ago I thought it would be a fun way to meet new people. Now here I am, a few years later, and I can truly say I feel passionate about my involvement because I can see first hand how this agency matters. We read these terrible stories online about children who are victims of abuse and think "that's awful, but it doesn't happen here." Alarmingly, it does. It happens everywhere. And it takes a special team of people to care for the most innocent of victims: children. 4,400 children and adults were served this year alone in my county in Oklahoma, and the agency has exceeded its capacity. An old church was generously donated for a new facility, and a fundraiser was established this year to help make the dream of breaking the cycle of abuse a reality. We are half way to our goal of $800K through so many generous donations, and would deeply appreciate any financial help we could get. I would also love to share that through multiple #givingtuesday posts on Facebook we had an overwhelming response on the big Giving Tuesday day, where our #givingtuesday fundraiser raised over $5,000. Thank you for reading, and please visit our website at http://www.rayofhopeac.org/ for more information, and how your donation can impact our community.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Growing up in small town America, it feels like everyone knows everyone. Some would even claim my community, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is pretty close to Mayberry. However, after growing up, leaving home, starting a family and eventually moving my family back, it became clear that my Mayberry was like every other one in America - imperfect with plenty of needs. Everyone may know everyone, but unfortunately dark undercurrents, like child abuse, are often hidden and ignored.
I believe in my community and its future. I also believe that starting from the beginning is the best way to build the strongest future. Looking at my own children and the community I love, I know that giving all children a healthy, safe, loving start is essential to their success and ultimately our community's future. That's why I give to Ray of Hope Advocacy Center in a fight against child sexual and physical abuse, neglect and witness to violence.
With four generations of my family living in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, we are invested. Knowing local child abuse is rising and Ray of Hope Advocacy Center has served 54 percent more victims just this year, my family could no longer ignore these innocent, hurting children in our community. I now serve as president of the board of directors. My 65-year-old father and 6-year-old son serve as Ray of Hope Advocacy Center's spokespeople, showcasing positive adult-child relationships and how even the smallest among us can make a big difference. They are leading the charge in Ray of Hope's current capital campaign to renovate a donated building that will meet the agency's growing needs (building tour shown in video attached). My family knows that child abuse impacts all of us and requires all of us to be a part of the solution whether you are 6 or 65 years old.
I give because I love my community. I give because no child should live in fear. I give because my family can make a difference. I give because without a safe adult to help, no child can escape the horror of child abuse alone. I give because child abuse permeates all demographics and neighborhoods. I give because these are my children's friends. I give because safer kids reach fuller potentials. I give because the real Mayberry is built on imperfect neighbors helping those in need.
Review from #MyGivingStory