GUEST COLUMN: Join us in supporting our kids

By Angela DeBoskey

We’re not going to lose our kids.

That was the inspiration behind the launch of our Vulnerable Children’s Initiative in 2021, dedicated to helping kids find a better path in life. And it’s the driving force behind the impassioned work of so many local nonprofits, government agencies and community leaders in Hancock County.

We will not let our kids lose hope and a vision for a better future.

We will not let our kids fall behind in school because they are hungry, or because they don’t feel safe at home.

We will not let our kids slip through the cracks of the court system, and we will not let them give up on their dreams of college just because their family is economically disadvantaged.

This National Child Abuse Prevention Month, local agencies and child advocates will write guest columns detailing the specific ways they champion children in our community. They will highlight prevention services and supports, as well as the systems in place to protect vulnerable children and strengthen families. We hope this will give a clear picture of the many resources available to help youth no matter where they are on their path, and of the many collaborative efforts designed to safeguard our kids now while giving them the tools they need to succeed long term.

Our challenge to you: find your way to join us.

You may be inspired after reading about the efforts locally to ensure that the 2 in 5 children who don’t have enough to eat are property fed.

Or you may feel called to help after learning more about the organizations that step in after a report of child abuse or neglect is made.

You might want to get involved as a mentor for an at-risk teen or as a tutor for a student who is struggling to keep up in school.

All of the groups that you’ll read about this month are working toward a common goal, but they can’t do the work alone. They need caring adults who are willing to give their time, talents and financial resources to ensure that none of our children are left behind.

If you would like help finding a way to get involved, call me. It is truly my greatest joy and privilege to match compassionate individuals with causes that can use your talents.

This April, together, let us declare: Not our kids.

DeBoskey is CEO of United Way of Hancock County.

(This guest column ran in the Findlay Courier on April 3, 2023.)