To help bring awareness to the rise in abuse, Lisa Del Bosque, chairman of Bee County Child Welfare Board, gathered as many people as she could on the front steps of the courthouse Wednesday.
“Today is one event that we do to promote child abuse prevention,” she told the group gathered.
“Each one of you has a number which means you are representing one child who was abused in Bee County last year,” she said. “Our number went from 207 in 2008 to 312 children in 2009. Everyone has a reason as to why it happens, but there is no reason for anyone to abuse a child.”
Mickie Ochoa reminded those attending that abuse isn’t just hitting. It is also neglect.
“Not having a child in a car seat is abuse,” she said.
Ochoa said that she is hoping to obtain grants to fund a program to buy car seats for those new mothers who otherwise couldn’t afford one.
“My goal is to get some grants so that if police officers were to pull someone over and they don’t have a car seat, they can give us a call.”
Her effort began last year after she and Gloria Jendrzyi saw a child thrown from a vehicle in a collision in front of Angel Care Ambulance Service.
“That child was lucky. They usually die from something like that,” she said. “I got to see him two weeks later running around.”
The Child Welfare Board members this month are selling blue ribbons to raise money for the Rainbow Room.
“When children are removed from their home in the middle of the night, they usually leave with what they have on — pajamas,” Del Bosque said. “We also will be buying gift cards for Sonic and Whataburger and other local businesses.
“Our CPS workers are buying food for these children out of their pockets.
“We want to make it a little easier on them this year.”
The blue bows are $5 each.
These bows are placed on buildings downtown and on local businesses to show support for stopping child abuse.
For more information, call Del Bosque at 361-254-0715.