Buckner International loves aligning with other nonprofit organizations that share our mission to serve vulnerable children and families. Buckner employees often network with new servant leaders and catch up with old ones at child-centric conferences and events.
It was at such an event our staff connected with an organization doing great work on behalf of vulnerable children and families in California. As a result of this great connection, Buckner was blessed with an opportunity to collaborate with Olive Crest, who operates the Child Abuse Prevention Network.
This month, Buckner was chosen by Olive Crest to benefit from its partnership with Mission Foods. Mission Foods is running a GIVE BACK campaign in October to raise awareness and support for abused and neglected children in the United States. The GIVE BACK campaign is featured in grocery store chains in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio markets in Texas through Oct. 31, 2022. Proceeds from the campaign will help support designated nonprofits serving children and educating the public about child abuse prevention.
In addition, Mission Foods and Olive Crest are sponsoring a five-day Disney World Family Adventure Sweepstakes to benefit the prevention of abused and neglected children.
The sweepstakes are open to all residents 18 and older in the United States (other than Florida and New York). Buckner employees are not eligible to participate in the sweepstakes.
An example of excellent corporate social responsibility by a leading consumer brand
Texans love their Tex-Mex foods, so we are grateful not only for tortillas and other foods made by Mission Foods … but we especially love when a consumer brand demonstrates excellent corporate social responsibility by helping support nonprofits serving children and families in local communities.
This month, when you are grocery shopping at a participating store featuring Mission Foods and its GIVE BACK campaign, you can purchase products with confidence that your contributions will help a child in need. We greatly appreciate Olive Crest and the Child Abuse Network for building more awareness around preventing child abuse.
Why is child abuse prevention important in Texas?
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), there are four different kinds of abuse that negatively impacts a child:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Failing to care for the child’s minimum life and health needs (neglect)
In 2021, there were nearly 69,000 confirmed victims of child abuse in Texas. When a child is removed from their biological home, a new, temporary home must be provided for the child. This could be an individual family foster home where parents have been gone through foster care training with a child placing agency (CPA), so they are prepared and licensed to receive a child upon short notice.
Children may also live temporarily in a group foster home with other children and foster parents. There are also residential treatment centers, emergency shelters, etc. Social workers make decisions where children will be best served based on their needs.
While it may seem overwhelming to consider becoming a foster family for a child who experienced abuse or neglect, imagine how overwhelming it is for the child who was removed from their biological family and must now overcome the effects of abuse or neglect while adapting to a new living environment.
More than 10,000 children were placed in kinship care in 2021 in Texas, meaning a child went to live with a biological relative, like a grandparent or aunt, and in some cases, a “fictive kin” relationship, such as a close family friend the child may already know.
How can Texans help keep children safe from child abuse?
Child abuse can cause lifelong issues, especially if not addressed through counseling or other programs designed to help children from trauma backgrounds. Children need loving and safe environments where they can begin a healing process after abuse has occurred. Buckner believes in doing whatever it can in vulnerable communities to help prevent child abuse altogether.
When parents are under increased stress from poverty, job loss, language barriers or other difficult life challenges, this can negatively impact the potential for positive outcomes. Buckner offers different programs that work with families to help strengthen the parents and entire family unit through education, family coaching, counseling and other support for their individual needs and journey. Some of those programs include:
· Buckner Family Pathways™ for single parents with children
· Buckner Family Hope Center™ programs for children and families
· Buckner Foster Care and Adoption to provide temporary and/or long-term care for children
· Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Support (HOPES) for parents with children through age 5 – offered in Beaumont and Longview
· Family and Youth Success (FAYS) program for families with children ages 6 to 17 – offered in Beaumont and Rio Grande Valley
· Fatherhood EFFECT is for dads with children 17 and younger – offered in Beaumont
How can nonprofits work together to help prevent child abuse?
The best way to combat child abuse is to try and prevent it from ever happening. Everyone can do something through ongoing education and referring families who need help to family strengthening and preservation programs. And nonprofits can collaborate on similar missions.
Last, awareness through campaigns like GIVE BACK with Mission Foods and Olive Crest’s Child Abuse Stops Here Network is a great way to keep this topic top of mind to benefit children. If you see a Mission Foods GIVE BACK display in your local grocery store, share it to social media, tag @bucknerinternational (Facebook) or @buckner_intl (Instagram), and use #TogetherOnAMission #StrongFamilies.