Social Services

Social Services Grassroots Wisdom Book by Charter for Compassion
Index for Social Services

Page 1 - Quilts of Grace - Bluebonnet Children's Center

Page 2 - Citizens UK

Quilts of Grace - Bluebonnet Children's Center

Children and their blankets. How many of us still have our baby blankets and associate them with comfort? Imagine the comfort an abused or neglected child might receive from a lovingly crafted quilt as they weather family separation and the civil and criminal court systems. Bringing that comfort to these deserving children is the purpose of Quilts of Grace, a tri-county initiative in Uvalde, Texas.

On September 9, 2019, 60 participants gathered to create quilts for children who were receiving help from the Court Appointed Special Advocates in Medina, Real, and Uvalde Counties (Tri-County CASA). This work of bringing quilted comfort to children began in 2018 and is ongoing. Children going through abusive situations and family separations that result from them often experience emotional trauma, and Bluebonnet Children's Center seeks to reduce that trauma, quilt by quilt, advocate by advocate, child by child.

Tri-County CASA and the Child Advocacy Center are two aspects of the Bluebonnet Children's Center, whose mission is "to protect and enhance the quality of life for abused children in Medina, Real, and Uvalde Counties." Tri-County CASA has been in operation since 2001 and the Child Advocacy Center, formed by concerned parents, since 2002. Advocacy services through the Center include coordinating investigations into child abuse, assessing the situation, prosecuting sexual and physical abuse cases, treating abused children, conducting forensic interviews of alleged victims and witnesses, providing safe and nurturing environments for interviews, and training interviewers. CASA trains, recruits, screens, and supervises advocates and helps to secure safe homes for the children.

While the Bluebonnet Children's Center offers a variety of ways for citizens to help the children, including golf outings, donations, and volunteering, Quilts of Grace is an excellent example of a tangible comfort that any community can create for children in distress.

To learn more, please see the link above, the beautiful photos on Bluebonnet Children's Center's website, or their Facebook page.

Citizens UK

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When looking at the work of Citizens UK, "grassroots" easily comes to mind. Since 1989, Citizens UK has intensively trained over 4,000 individuals in community organizing and "several thousand more have been equipped with the tools to pursue social change through shorter, local training days," according to their website.

Organizations that have utilized these trainings include churches, universities and schools, cities and neighborhoods, and a variety of organizations, all seeking to make a difference where they are.

Long-standing programs offered by Citizens UK include PACT (Parents and Communities Together), Sponsor Refugees, Refugees and Migrants Welcome, and Living Wage Foundation. PACT works to "improve the health and development outcomes for young children"; Sponsor Refugees to train and establish sponsors for refugees entering the UK; Refugees and Migrant Welcome to develop leaders among migrant, refugee and diaspora communities; and Living Wage Foundation to increase wages for low-income wage earners. Each of these projects emphasizes help for underrepresented groups through the compassion and commitment of everyday people and groups, like you and yours.

Citizens UK's webpage offers inspirational examples of the real difference grassroots community organizing makes in the lives of people. Find your inspiration at Citizen's UK website.

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