Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sororites, honor societies aim to prevent child abuse

By Nicole Collado

Plattsburgh, N.Y. – With blue and sliver pinwheels in hand, the Plattsburgh

community came together the morning of April 23 rd for the second annual Prevent

Child Abuse Walk.

The inside circumference of the Plattsburgh State field house track was set

up with tables from local organizations like Adirondack Helping Hands, The Child

Care Council of the North Country, Healthy Families New York, and the Joint Council

for Economic Opportunities. Along with pamphlets and resource information for

parents and guardians, there were coloring and play stations for the children who

attended the event.

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Human Development and Family Relations Student

Organization organized this year’s walk in conjunction with the Phi Upsilon

Omicron National Honor Society.

HDFR is geared toward anyone who desires to work in the human services

profession. Kenneth Koleman treasurer for the HDFR student organization at

Plattsburgh State said, “By doing this walk and raising money, were coming together

as a campus and community to help combat this issue.” Koleman continued on,

“Many of us have taken a class called Child Abuse and Neglect. This course opened

my eyes to the hardships children face everyday.”

Koleman is currently a junior and hopes to work in law or health


As a family support worker for Healthy Families New York, Kathryn Girard

goes to the homes of families who needed guidance and support in hopes of

bettering their families wants and needs.

Girard said: “Child abuse is a very real issue. While many homes I’ve visited

just wanted outside support and community outreach, some of them showed

serious signs of child neglect. It’s heartbreaking to see but I’m glad I’ve been able to

help make a difference in those children’s lives.”

After stopping to take a group picture in front of a “help stop child abuse”

sign, Alexis Vetro president of Sigma Delta Tau sorority said, “There was no way that

we were going to miss this walk.” Prevent Child Abuse America is Sigma Delta Tau’s

national philanthropy, and they put on events throughout the school year in support

of PCAA.

“We’re always doing our best to raise awareness and support. PCAA is a

cause that we hold close to our hearts, and they’ve don’t a great job with combining

information and fun at this year’s walk,” Vetro said.

Working the helping hands coloring station, Christina Rodriguez, a

graduating senior in the HDFR program said, “It’s amazing to see all of these people

show up to support a cause that’s so meaningful. Getting support workers in the

homes of children in need is so important and we’re helping do just that.”

The walk raised an estimated $900 and all proceeds will be donated to PCAA.

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