National Childhelp Day of Hope is annually observed on the first Wednesday of April and this year, it falls on April 5. It aims to create awareness and highlight the problem of child abuse and neglect. On the holiday, volunteers and advocates meet with members of Congress to educate leaders about essential legislation supporting child abuse and neglect victims. Read on to find out more.
History of National Childhelp Day of Hope
Founded by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson in 1959, Childhelp is America’s oldest and largest non-profit organization. It is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Childhelp provides treatment programs across the country for victims of abuse and runs the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline — the only national helpline for child abuse and neglect. The organization began as International Orphans, created after O’Meara and Fedderson took on the responsibility to support 11 Japanese-American children they’d encountered in Japan while on a government-sponsored goodwill tour. They returned to the U.S to raise funds for the cause, and in 1961, International Orphans built two large orphanages in the Tokyo area for Asian American children.
In 1976, O’Meara and Fedderson launched a campaign against child abuse called the “Children’s Village U.S.A.” It protected severely abused children and provided them with treatment and therapy. In 1979, O’Meara and Fedderson worked alongside President Jimmy Carter to establish April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Later, in 1983, Children’s Village U.S.A’s name was changed to Childhelp U.S.A., and Childhelp International was created for international activities.
Children’s Village U.S.A. created the first national toll-free hotline: 4-A-Child (1-800). It still operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline offers a variety of support resources from professional crisis counselors. Congress voted to designate the first Wednesday in April as National Childhelp Day of Hope in 2000. On the holiday, people across the nation take the time to say a prayer and observe a moment of silence in honor and remembrance of the children who suffer from abuse and neglect.
National Childhelp Day of Hope timeline
Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson establish International Orphans.
Childhelp creates the first national toll-free hotline.
Children’s Village U.S.A’s name changes to Childhelp U.S.A.
Childhelp launches its website.
National Childhelp Day of Hope FAQs
What is the Day of Hope?
The Day of Hope is the first Wednesday of April. It is a day of remembrance for the children who die every day from abuse and neglect.
Is April a national month?
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter established April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
When was the National Month of Hope created?
In 2018, Mothers in Crisis designated April as the National Month of Hope.
How to Observe National Childhelp Day of Hope
Observe a moment of silence
Take some time to say a prayer and observe a moment of silence. Do this to remember the children who suffered from abuse and neglect.
Donate to Childhelp
Donate either money or your time to Childhelp. Any amount will help.
Attend one of Childhelp’s benefit events
Attend one of the fundraising events arranged by Childhelp. If you can’t find an event nearby, attend a fundraising event next year.
5 Facts About Preventing Child Abuse
Child abuse is common
At least one in seven children has experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the U.S.
Special needs children are at higher risk
Children with special needs have a higher risk of being neglected or abused.
Certain factors protect against child abuse
Some protective factors include supportive family environments and social networks, parental employment, adequate housing, and access to healthcare and social services.
Child abuse is linked to other abuse
Spousal and vulnerable adult abuse is often linked to child abuse.
Abuse is not only physical
Abuse has several forms: emotional, mental, and physical.
Why National Childhelp Day of Hope is Important
It aims to stop child abuse
The day aims to eradicate child abuse and neglect around the world. It reminds us to donate to organizations that protect children and raise awareness about child abuse.
It helps children
National Childhelp Day of Hope aims to help children who cannot help themselves. It seeks to protect children against violence, neglect, and abuse.
It creates awareness
Child abuse and neglect can be uncomfortable to talk about. But National Childhelp Day of Hope forces us to acknowledge it and encourages us to take action.
National Childhelp Day of Hope dates