We were excited to recognize our volunteers at our Volunteer Banquet on February 15! This was our annual opportunity to thank all of the wonderful men and women who give so generously of their time to help children heal, thrive and find safe, permanent homes. We applaud you!
As you are well aware, the “Me Too” movement has gripped the nation with stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, Congress, USA Women’s Gymnastics and other sports, the restaurant and hospitality industries and many more. What characterizes these stories is that they often involve a power differential between an older, more powerful abuser and a younger, vulnerable victim, and that these victims have remained silent for years, if not decades. It started with the courage of one person speaking out and empowered thousands of others to share their stories to find closure and healing. This is so often the case with our children. They are abused by an adult. They feel powerless to speak out or seek help. And they have kept a secret for years. The statistics are shocking – 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will have been sexually abused by the age of 18 years old. But only 10% of these victims have told.
Through public awareness of the “Me Too” movement and the enormity and pervasiveness of the issue, we hope that this movement will empower victims to come forward and get the help they need. We are so fortunate that in Fort Bend County, through CASA and our Children’s Advocacy Center, children can get the help they need to be safe and to heal, all at no cost to them. So, as you read and hear “MeToo” stories, remember that there are many “MeToo” children in our community. Let’s turn “Me Too” into “Not Me.”
For the Children’s Sake,
Jim’s 25+ years of wide-ranging involvement with CAFB demonstrate the highest level of commitment. His natural leadership, and ability to bring people together to help the less fortunate, has benefited thousands of children served by CAFB. Most recently, he has served on the Voices for Children Committee and is a Past President and Past Vice President of the Board of Directors. CAFB is privileged to have Jim still serving on the Board of Directors today, and he is an active member of the Audit Committee all while running his own practice, James G. McClellan CPA, in Sugar Land.
On top of his personal involvement, in his role as President and Trustee of the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation, Jim and fellow Trustees have consistently, financially supported the agency on many projects from helping build the current CAFB offices to ensuring the agency’s most pressing needs are met annually – and that long-term planning is in place. Jim is often among the first to support CAFB’s many events whether it be volunteering for back-to-back host shifts for the Christmas Home Tour, sponsoring the gala or attending Light of Hope, Jim’s impact on the organization is profound and far-reaching.
CAFB was honored to present Jim with the Blue Ribbon Award at our recent Volunteer Banquet. This award is in honor of all child victims who have suffered abuse or neglect and whose stories and lives must not be forgotten – a fitting award for a loyal volunteer, contributor and friend.
Thank You Fort Bend Cares
Thank you to the people of Fort Bend Cares who generously provided $5,000 in support toward our therapy programs for abused children. We are grateful to have been recognized for this past support at their Through the Decades-themed annual Road Trip gala in February.
Celebrating National Play Therapy Week
Play Therapy Helps Children Heal From Child Abuse.
February 4th-10th was National Play Therapy Week. At the Children’s Advocacy Center, therapists use play therapy to help children process their thoughts and feelings related to the abuse they experienced or the violence that they witnessed. Children’s brains are not developed enough to be able to fully express their thoughts and feelings through words; instead, they express themselves through play. At the CAC, our play therapy rooms are equipped with a variety of toys that require children to use their imagination. Our therapists have received specialized training in play therapy and pursue continuing education opportunities in order to stay up to date on current research and best practices.
To find out more about why play therapy is an effective treatment modality for children, check out this video:
If you would like to help the healing process, please consider making a donation to the CAC therapy department so that we may restock worn and broken toys and provide additional therapeutic resources for the children. Check out the therapy department’s Amazon wish list to see current needs:
CAC Therapy Wish List
Infant and Toddler Team Court Presentation
The Fort Bend Infant and Toddler Court Team invites you to join us on April 5, 2018 from noon until 1:30pm to learn about services provided by the Fort Bend Transportation Department. All CASA Volunteers who work with 0-5 year old children are encouraged to attend, regardless of whether or not they have an active case. Please join us in the 328th District Court (Judge Ronald Pope) at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469. Light lunch will be provided. RSVP if attending to email@example.com.
On Thursday, February 22nd we hosted a luncheon celebration for 12 volunteers who recently completed their training. We are so happy to have them as a part of the CAFB team and look forward to working with them. Shown L to R are: Deborah Gonynor, Ashifa Bhimani, Pam Hubenak, Brandy Gibson, Amanda Anderson, Jennifer Anderson, Rebecca Hoelscher, Bill Taylor, Hon. Ronald Pope (328th Judicial District Court), Laurel Doll, Bob Jacobs, Karen McMillin and Sundara Kulkarni
Thanking ALL of Our Wonderful Volunteers!
Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
In 2017, Child Advocates of Fort Bend served a record 2,102 children, a 20% increase over the previous year. Our volunteers opened their hearts to support these children, fought tirelessly for their best interests, went the extra mile (or hundreds or thousands of miles) to mend their shattered lives and give these children hope. In fact, our generous volunteers traveled 93,811 miles and donated 7,301 hours of their time providing a voice so that children could be heard, healing their hurt and helping to break the cycle of abuse so that children and families can have bright futures and productive lives. The love that our volunteers show in their commitment and dedication to these children is priceless and will be forever remembered as they grow, thrive and learn that there are caring adults in this world who believe in their worth.
All of our volunteers are superstars in our book and we thank ALL of them for their service in 2017. A few volunteers and partners were recognized for exceptional service in 2017, including Cynthia Barratt, who was named 2017 Child Advocate of the Year. See who else was recognized for exceptional service in 2017 and view photos of this fun event at https://www.cafb.org/events/volunteer-banquet/
Meet Chinnu Meher-Homji!
Children’s Advocacy Center Meher-Homji joined us in 2016.
Child Abuse Awareness Month CHANGE OF PLANS!
Get ready for some family fun and join us at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department’s fifth annual Pinwheel Project on April 14th from 11am to 3pm for The Pinwheel Project. Hosted by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, this annual event is held at Homestead Park at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond – directly across from the Justice Center. This free community event is fun for the whole family. There will be food, games, inflatable bounce houses, face painting, a train, a petting zoo, music, prize giveaways and more. In fact, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, The Exchange Club of Sugar Land and FRIENDS will all be participating at this event to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention month. Visit us there to pick up your blue ribbons to tie around neighborhood trees, blue ribbon pins, bracelets and other goodies.
The Pinwheel Project is a free, fun, family day with activities for all ages. The community event is the brainchild of Lesley Vaught, a detective with the Special Crimes Unit at the Fort Bend County Sherriff’s Department. Det. Vaught, who has been with the Sheriff’s office for 12 years, developed the project with her unit five years ago when they determined they needed to do more to raise awareness of child abuse in Fort Bend County. The Special Crimes Unit created the Pinwheel Project in observance of Child Abuse Awareness month in April.
“Child abuse is something that so many people do not want to talk about and it gets ignored,” Vaught said. “The Pinwheel Project is so important to me because it brings our community together and lets others know we are here and we do care. It gives people the opportunity to learn the signs of child abuse and how to report.”
Please make plans to join us and the police departments, fire departments, fire responders and other agencies throughout Fort Bend County who work with children who have been abused. Come show your support for those who work to help the most vulnerable in our community.
On May 5th at 6pm we are hosting the 18th annual Gala at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. This year’s theme is Off To The Races. We are currently gathering sponsors and auction items for this exciting evening. We are expecting over 500 guests to enjoy the silent and live auctions, raffle, wine and jewelry pulls and entertainments. It’s an evening you definitely won’t want to miss and the proceeds benefit our programs and services. For more information or to get involved, please contact Lisa Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-344-5108.
Mark your calendar!
March 8: FRIENDS Mission & Martinis
6pm until 8pm
Bring a friend and join us for martinis, camaraderie and light bites. Learn about the mission of FRIENDS of Child Advocates of Fort Bend and trends in women’s fashions courtesy of Fabulous You. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available. For location and more details contact Kristin Stiles-Janossy at email@example.com.
March 13: NEST/WINGS Spring Break Service Day
8am until 5pm
Several times a year, our NEST and WINGS kids learn about volunteerism first-hand. Volunteers may be needed to help chaperone the children. If you are interested and available to help, contact April Shaver at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 14: Light of Hope at The Pinwheel Project
Homestead Park (directly across from the Fort Bend Justice Center)
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469
Child Advocates of Fort Bend, The Exchange Club of Sugar Land and FRIENDS will be participating in this fun, family event hosted by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. This free community event is fun for the whole family. There will be food, games, inflatable bounce houses, face painting, a train, a petting zoo, music, prize giveaways and more. Visit us there to pick up your blue ribbons to tie around neighborhood trees, blue ribbon pins, bracelets and other goodies.
May 5, 2018: Off to the Races Gala
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square
For more information go to or contact Lisa Moore at email@example.com