May 1, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – As many as 28 Southern Illinois agencies serving the needs of children received grants Thursday from the Poshard Foundation for Abused and Neglected Children.

Monies distributed on this final day of April, designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month nationally, totaled $67,000.

“These are proceeds from our brunch fundraiser last October here at the college,” said co-founder, Jo Poshard. “The money we give away today is to be used for abused, abandoned and neglected children in the region. This is money that these agencies can use to accomplish things for children that they wouldn’t have the funds for otherwise. It helps fill the gaps if you will.”

Poshard said that it is clear that 30 days isn’t enough time to sound the alarm for abused children in Southern Illinois.

“Sadly, child abuse is on the rise in our area,” she said. “That is why we want to do whatever we can to provide counseling, cribs, therapeutic camps, supplies for the college-bound foster children, or training for the prevention of violence against children. It is our goal to make a difference in young lives.”

Ginger Meyer, representing the Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network in Anna – an offshoot of the SIU School of Medicine – said her agency provides medical evaluations for children in the southern 45 counties.

“Many are either physically abused or sexually abused,” she said. “It is our goal to make children as comfortable as possible during the evaluation process. Some don’t get to go home after the examination. They instead go to a foster home or another parent’s home. The money we get from the Poshard Foundation allows us to provide items in the child’s backpack, maybe personal care items like shampoo and hair conditioner. What we put in the backpacks is age appropriate. We also include snacks. We want to give something tangible, something they can take home.”

Jeannine Woods, representing the Cairo Women’s Shelter, said monies from the Poshard Foundation will supplement dollars dedicated to children’s activities at the shelter and the purchase of school uniforms.

“Last year, the funds we received here helped purchase 20 uniforms for children that we serve,” Woods said. “Hopefully, we can do that again. Believe me, the money we get is very important to us because it’s very difficult to raise money in our community given the economic condition of our community.”

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.