Our community has been shaken to the core by several tragic events involving children. While these tragedies are so very difficult to understand and to process, I would like to propose that they offer opportunity to advance our service to others but most especially our service to the children and families that are our neighbors and friends.
While we all shared in the helplessness of not being able to find Harley, and the senselessness of a child losing his life from a gunshot, most felt a call to action. Do we organize a search party, raise funds for a reward, lobby for legislative change?
I submit to you that the real tragedy of these events would be if we just returned to what we were doing before without making a change in our community. I challenge each person reading this to find a way to make a difference in honor of these children!
There are opportunities to volunteer, contribute and genuinely improve where we live.
The Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center offers the TNT Mentoring program that Harley spoke so highly about. We match caring adults with children in all the schools across Ottawa County and always have a waiting list. This takes an adult about a half hour per week to spend some time being a friend and an ally to a child that needs that extra attention.
Other opportunities include being a CASA volunteer, helping with our GrandLove, grandparent advocacy program that supports grandparents raising grandchildren, or sharing time and talent with our teens participating in the TICKET program.
In addition, we are operating summer lunch programs and providing food to kids during extended breaks from school such as Spring break. We always need help collecting food and raising funds. Imagine if we were never to have a hungry child in Ottawa County again!
Help us to leave a legacy to Harley, Ben and Clyde by standing up for children and families in our community. Please call me at 419-301-0225 for more information.
Connie S. Cornett