Inspired by Florida Kiwanis Governor Matthew Cantrall's Five Steps to Excellence, Kiwanis clubs throughout the state are doing incredible work to address the goals under Young Child Priority One, including advocating for and supporting their local Healthy Families Florida programs. Healthy Families and Kiwanis is a natural partnership because both share a common mission to improve the lives of Florida's most vulnerable children through parent education and support.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, over 49,200 Florida children, almost half of them under the age of five, were abused and neglected at the hands of their caregivers. An average 135 children are abused and neglected every day and an average of 2 children die every week at the hands of their abusers. These tragic statistics are heartbreaking reminders of why Kiwanis' partnership with Healthy Families Florida is so important. Healthy Families Florida is an evidence-based home visiting program proven to prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever happens.
Here are some ways Kiwanis Clubs are partnering with Healthy Families Florida:
· Participated in Children's Week that is held in Tallahassee during April every year
· Donating diapers - Help Kiwanis First Lady Cheryl Cantrall reach her Florida Kiwanis Diaper Dump Project goal of 750,000 by Mother's Day 2014 and continue to donate throughout the year
· Donating educational DVDs, children's books and home safety items such as outlet plugs and door alarms
· Donating Pak N Plays® to promote safe sleep practices - Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of infant death in Florida
· Providing monetary grants
· Volunteering to help with graduation ceremonies, parent support groups and/or community events
· Serving on local Healthy Families Florida Advisory Boards
Together, we can break the cycle of abuse and neglect and ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential.
For more information on Healthy Families Florida, visit www.healthyfamiliesfla.org, or contact the Healthy Families Program at the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties at (863) 674-4041 xt.116