Springfield Mom Creates Foundation To Fight Child Abuse
Springfield, Missouri – Cindy Dennis, author of child abuse prevention books, is creating the Give A Child A Voice Foundation.
By forming a nonprofit foundation, Dennis said she hopes to reach more children, parents, grandparents, foster parents and educators. As a foundation, she will be in a better position to raise funds and apply for grants. And she can get cheaper “nonprofit” publishing rates.
The Springfield mom presented her plans Wednesday at the 1 Million Cups meeting, where entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts to an audience.
“Our objective is to reduce and eventually end all forms of child abuse, neglect and molestation,” she told the audience. “We will achieve this by teaching kids to stand up for themselves, be vigilant and become a crusader for their own well-being.”
“Children will learn that their bodies are sacred and no one has a right to victimize them. They will learn tactics and strategies that can lead to prevention.”
Dennis said as the foundation raises money, she will be able to create a high-quality video “that is engaging to children with animation and songs.” Dennis also wants to distribute the book “Friend Manual” to kindergarten through third-grade classes, preschools and churches. “Friend Manual” teaches kids about safety, the difference between good secrets and bad secrets, and what to do if a stranger approaches or tries to grab them.
Dennis said the foundation will be run by volunteers and the office (in her home) is free.
“Someone asked if I will get burnt out,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, so I really don’t think I’ll be getting burnt out.
“We did have an incident in my family and that is why I’m so devoted to this,” she added.
The Give A Child A Voice Foundation board of directors includes Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, KGBX’s Liz Delany, Erik Dennis, Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky, April Harrell, Stacy James, Sam Sandora, Dawn Schaffer and Lauren O’Reilly.
Dennis said they are working to obtain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Dennis has said her inspiration for her book series came from a relative who was molested at the age of 3.
Find out more about her books and watch videos featuring local celebrities like Jeff Houghton and Doug Pitt reading her books at cindylubooks.com.
A private concert featuring the band “Members Only” will be on April 30 at the Hotel Vandivort. The venue was donated by Hotel Vandivort owner John McQueary, Dennis said. Tickets will be $100 with proceeds going to the foundation’s video project.
Dennis said she is looking for businesses and individuals to sponsor the event. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.