Every Child in PA Deserves and Needs a Champion

January 25, 2017

By Beth Bitler

I’ve noticed lately that I’m weary from “bad news.” Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that we gloss over the dangers and atrocities in our communities.  You know what I mean; the kind of news that tells us despite all our good works, bad things happen that we can scarcely imagine before we view it on television, hear about it on social media, or read about it in those nearly-extinct publications called newspapers.  I am suggesting we bring a greater balance into our daily conscience, like appreciating the moments that bring joy to our lives. There’ve been a few things that have made me smile broadly in recent days; people and situations that have made me feel proud to be part of this human race – literally and figuratively speaking.

blog 1I just finished a radio interview with RJ Harris at WHP 580 iHeart Media in Harrisburg to tell central PA listeners about PFSA’s kick off to our new PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids campaign.  The goal is quite simple:  To shine the light on everyday heroes who do their best to protect children. We ask Pennsylvanians from every region of this commonwealth to help us highlight those individuals – teachers, social workers, doctors, neighbors, regular folks – who have done something special to protect a child.  Maybe their act was truly one of heroism by stepping in during a crisis to save a child from imminent death; maybe it was simply being aware of a need and ensuring that a child was properly fed or clothed; or maybe it was just being present in a child’s life as a tutor, mentor, coach, or volunteer in a community organization or sports team. In other words, we are looking for folks who did the right thing, at the right time, and it made all the difference in the life of a child.

When I explained this concept to RJ, he smiled the most genuine smile and said, “Isn’t that nice?”   And it really is.  It’s time for us to acknowledge the good that is around us.  Maybe when we see and hear what others do for children, it will motivate each of us to do more than we believe we are capable of doing.

I opened my local paper recently and read about a very humble man who saved a five-year-old girl during a bizarre attack at a day care center.  I’m not sure I would have been as courageous given such a dangerous situation, but I would like to think I would have stepped in and done what was needed.

What I do know is I am both grateful and proud of this man who had no legal obligation to take action on behalf of that little girl.  Somewhere inside his soul, instincts of goodness and valor arose and he acted upon them. I believe we all have the grace, kindness, and humanity to cheer one another to do the right things by the children in our midst.

So, I ask you, please, to think about the people in your community who act on behalf of the best interests of children. And then, nominate one of these heroes as a #PABlueRibbonChamp. You can do so by visiting www.pablueribbonchampion.org, download the nomination form, and make sure to return it to PFSA by February 27th . Finally, please follow and support our campaign on social media and in your communities because every child deserves and needs a champion!

 

 

 

 

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