Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, the community comes together to honor the victims of child abuse and to raise awareness about this tragedy. Child Advocates of Fort Bend holds its annual Light of Hope Ceremony in Sugar Land Town Square Plaza to kick off the month. Organizations throughout the county sponsor activities to engage their members and inform the public. Highlights include the Exchange Clubs whose national project is the prevention of child abuse. They tie blue ribbons on trees along streets and boulevards and set up fields of blue ribbon stakes at the Fort Bend County Courthouse and Highway 90 in Stafford to honor every child who was a victim of child abuse in the past year. They also run the Blue Ribbon Contest in which 30+ elementary schools participate and engage their students to design and decorate their schools in blue. Law enforcement agencies host the Pinwheel Children’s Festival at park in Richmond adjacent to the Fort Bend County Judicial Center. This event is held in mid-April.
The Story of the Blue Ribbon
The blue ribbon is the symbol of child abuse and originates from the story of a little boy who was a victim of child abuse. In spring 1989, Bonnie Finney, a Virginia grandmother received the devastating news that her beloved grandson had died of injuries inflicted by his parents. In an expression of her grief and outrage, she tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van as a way to remember “the bruised and battered body of her grandson” and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. Her simple idea, to wear or display a blue ribbon to show support for child abuse prevention was picked up by grassroots organizations across the country.
The blue ribbon serves as a constant reminder to fight for protection for our children. Please wear a blue ribbon. Put one on your car. Give one to your friends and tell them what it means. You may save a child’s life!
Light of Hope Ceremony
The Light of Hope Ceremony is an annual event hosted and sponsored by Child Advocates of Fort Bend and co-sponsored by Friends Council and the Exchange Club of Sugar Land. This free, public event draws hundreds of children and adults to Sugar Land Town Square Plaza where the outdoor venue is filled with blue balloons, information tables, blue ribbon t-shirts, car magnets and pins. Featuring live music and special tributes, it is a family-friendly event which kicks off April Child Abuse Prevention Month. Following the ceremony, guests are encouraged to enjoy the free Giving Spirits Concert on the plaza.
See photos from the 2017 Light of Hope Ceremony below.
Special thanks to Fran Clark for taking photos!