I had a bit of an anxiety attack when I woke up this morning. I wasn’t sure I had a shirt ready.
Today I started Month 8 of the #GoBlue365 project. Since May 1, I have worn a blue shirt every day in the effort to raise money and awareness of the child abuse and neglect problem in Henderson County.
I began the project wearing only Go Blue t-shirts, but after a few months I learned that I needed to expand my wardrobe a little. Put on the same six shirts day after day for months and they start to show the wear. If not for my wife’s labor, those shirts would be unusable.
I now have a closet full of blue, but today is a special day and I wanted to start the month wearing a “Go Blue 2014” shirt. But I wasn’t sure if I had one clean.
So I had an instant of panic …. which quickly went away when I saw the shirt I needed hanging ready.
But that moment made me wonder how many children in the county were having their own panic attacks this morning? How many were searching for clean clothes and food before heading out to school, but came up empty?
How many were hiding to avoid getting hit? How many failed?
We’ve talked about the numbers before. In 2013 there were 252 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in the county. According to “Map the Meal Gap” from Feeding America, 27.5 percent of the children in Henderson County — almost 5,000 — are food insecure and 75 percent are eligible for nutrition programs.
Those numbers should pierce the heart of all who read them. We should do better and we can do better. The only question is if we have the courage and the will to do better.
The good people at the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office work hard to fight against child abuse and neglect. Through #GoBlue365 I have been collecting money to support that effort.
If you would like to help in our goal of making Henderson County a safer place for children, you can donate online here, or you can make a deposit to the “Go Blue 365” account at any First State Bank branch in the county.
Thank you, God bless and Go Blue.