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We need volunteer advocates for kids who need to feel safe

To The Daily Sun,

For the last several years I have enjoyed coaching soccer to young kids. The parents of these kids typically outfit their child to look like a miniature version of a professional soccer player, practice with them at home and bring them to each practice and game. What really warms my heart though is when the children's "entourage" comes to cheer them on. The wild cheering is unconditionally positive and occurs regardless of their abilities. Armed with lawn chairs; the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends are screaming encouraging words to support these little athletes. Although I adore these kids, they probably aren't the kids I'm writing about today.

Today I am writing about children who desperately need someone to get to know them and look out for their best interests. I am writing about the kids I probably won't get to meet on the soccer field with a slew of doting adults supporting them. The kids I am writing about today are the victims of abuse and neglect. These kids' parents might have had the really good intentions to sign them up for soccer and had the money set aside for registration (along with the car payment and money for groceries) but they used this money instead to go on a bender to numb some of their own pain. Maybe Mom really loves her three young kids so she leaves the 6-year-old in charge of the younger two so they won't see her go to her friend's house to shoot up. Perhaps Dad loses his temper a lot and is ashamed that this recently lead to him beating his child and he really wants to stop but in the meantime he can't risk his child exposing this dirty little secret to the soccer coach. These are the kids that I am trying to find volunteers for; caring adults who will fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.

If you are interested in more information about being trained as a volunteer advocate, please call me at 536-1663 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jen Buteau
North Country Training & Recruitment Coordinator
CASA of New Hampshire

 
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