We ride for kids.
Children are at high risk of abuse due to the impact of COVID-19 on our communities and the policies enacted to combat the virus. While these isolating policies are necessary, they have unintended consequences for children who are vulnerable to abuse.
For this reason, this year, 100 percent of funds raised will benefit child abuse prevention and treatment programs at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Network.
Child abuse prevention and treatment programs at Mary Bridge Children's
Thanks to annual donations from caring individuals and an endowment funded with the help of the Rotary Clubs of Pierce County, nearly 15,000 children suspected to be victims of abuse or neglect have received care since 1988.
The Children's Advocacy Center of Pierce County (located on the Mary Bridge Children's campus) offers medical assistance, family support and general education to empower members of the community to recognize signs of abuse.Program enhancements include:
- Trauma and mental health screens for all children 4 and older being seen at the CAC – this is critical to identifying and addressing mental health concerns early
- Social determinants of health screens to address resource needs for every caregiver (important for families who may lose the breadwinner from the household because of abuse allegations)
- Developing a trauma-informed mental health network to meet the needs of kids and families impacted by child abuse in conjunction with Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County
- Providing a continuum of care for children who have witnessed their parent’s death secondary to interpersonal violence
These services would not be possible without donor support. Insurance does not cover all medical care costs associated with abuse — especially sexual abuse — leaving victims with limited options. In their darkest hour, Courage riders can stand with victims of child abuse by ensuring children have access to the services they need to seek justice and healing.
Joseph Romero is a Courage rider and president of the South Hill Rotary. He is also a child abuse survivor. Three years ago, Romero joined a Rotary club. He now considers his fellow members his “pseudo family.”
I lived through 18 years of physical, mental and emotional abuse and neglect — the whole nine yards. Constantly feeling like I wasn’t important enough for anyone to care about.
I think kids need to know that they have a safe place, like CAID, where they won’t be stigmatized. Where they can get help and they can learn and grow. Where they can understand that the world itself is a lot bigger than the world where they are kept, or within the family circle where they feel like they need to stay.
The first time I rode Courage, getting to the top of Blewett Pass was really, really awesome because I’ve shared small parts of my life with this Rotary family. I had the people that cared about what happened and wanted to support me for the first time — something I never had growing up.