URBANA – A recent special pastry sale aims to raise awareness about abused children in central Illinois.
According to the Department of Children and Family Services, there were 32 indicated deaths from abuse and neglect in central Illinois. From April 11-18, Industrial Donut sold a special box of donuts called the Blue Box for Child Abuse Prevention.
“We are definitely happy to be a part of the process of it,” said Jason Powers, Industrial Donut Manager. “Anything like this definitely needs some awareness brought to it. Anything we can do to help out is definitely a good thing.”
Twenty percent of a “Blue Box” sale went to local child advocacy organizations – Crisis Nursery and Champaign County Court Appointed Special Advocate.
“It’s not necessarily about raising the money, but getting the word out and making sure people know that there’s something that they can do to help prevent child abuse in the community,” said Jenna Phillips, Marketing and Events Coordinator for Crisis Nursery.
Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based childcare facility in Champaign County. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is free of charge.
“You can’t be the best parent if you’re not like yourself, you know,” said Phillips. “So we want them to be able to be the best parent they can be, and sometimes that is they need a break from their kiddos.”
Domica Light said that she grew up being sexually abused. She said she presented many symptoms of child abuse growing up, but no one noticed or cared.
“I would have loved for Crisis Nursery and CASA to be in place for me based on the fact that maybe they could have helped identify a lot of things to my parents or other people that would have been circled around me,” said Light.
CASA is a non-profit organization that provides trained volunteers to look after the well-being of a child in Juvenile court.
“We believe that we all have a role in helping to keep our kids safe,” said Laura Brown, the Director of Development for CASA.” Everyone can have eyes and ears on children, and everyone can care about children.”
CASA served 535 children from infancy to 21-years-old. They serve, on average, 400 children a year.
“[It’s] probably more prevalent than what people realize,” said Brooke Adams. “So if you’re an adult in this community, just [be] aware that it exists, and if you see something, say something.”