New ACEs Infographic from CDC:
Click HERE to see the CDC's latest infographic on ACEs.
"Learning the System" Youth Summit -- JULY 9, 2021
On FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2021 LTK co-hosted a FREE YOUTH SUMMIT in NOLA with "Learning the System," a youth-led awareness group.
The summit is the brainchild of Shelby, a rising senior at Ben Franklin High School. She got tired of watching her peers make damaging life-decisions and wanted to do something about it! Kids need to be heard and understood, so Listen to Kids is all about amplifying healthy youth voices. This is right up our alley. We were able to support Shelby's efforts by contributing money for lunch and snacks for participants, as well as promoting the event. Michelle sat on the "Mental Health" panel and was able to share the free resources Listen to Kids offers.
The event was a wonderful success. Over 40 local high school students turned out & learned about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the growing threats of sexual assault & trafficking. They heard from expert panelists who work in anti-trafficking, members of the NOPD, Orleans Parish judges, and representatives from the Orleans District Attorney's offices. They also learned about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how they can take control of their lives to counteract their own ACEs.
Roberts' Family Agency - Allstate, Harahan
On MAY 21, 2021, MELISSA ROBERTS & employees of Roberts' Family Agency - Allstate in Harahan donated $$$$HUNDREDS$$$$ of single-use toiletries, including the "always" in-demand feminine hygiene products. (No pun intended.)
The gift was the result of a toiletry drive Melissa and her co-workers hosted for almost a month.
We're in good hands. :)
For real. SUCH a friendly office to visit.
Thanks, Roberts' Family Agency!!! We'll deliver your donations to NOCAC.
Community Partner: Juanita Carruth
This spring, Listen to Kids made an important connection with a local anti-trafficking activist: Ms. Juanita Carruth.
Ms. Carruth's daughter experienced trafficking several years ago, and is currently in the healing process. As a way to channel her protective energies and love for her daughter, Ms. Carruth has founded Families Against Child Trafficking, a 501(c)(3) here in New Orleans. She is also an active member of the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force, and has recently been named to Governor Edwards' Children's Cabinet Advisory Board.
We're so excited to join forces with Ms. Carruth and support her mission to spread awareness of Child Trafficking in New Orleans.
To hear more of Ms. Carruth's story, read this recent news article & watch the video:
Orleans Parish TEEN COURT
When I worked as a high school principal, I was very proud of our Honor Council and its incredible impact on our school community. The Honor Council was comprised of 6 high school students, who ran for office via election, and one faculty moderator. We trained members of the Council to hear about major violations of our rules & suggest consequences to the administration. As the Head of Upper School, it was my goal to uphold as many Honor Council decisions as possible. In many cases, the consequences kids came up with were more effective and appropriate than ideas from the administration. And in most cases, students took consequences from the Council more seriously because they knew that their peers were there to help them grow and also understood the pressures that led to a violation.
I was thrilled to discover that Orleans Parish Juvenile Court is home to its very own TEEN COURT! Similar to our Honor Council, this group of trained teens hears Juvenile, non-violent, first-time offender cases referred to them by juvenile judges. Teens can volunteer to be jurors or even be trained as "lawyers" and "judges!"
If you are or know a teenager in New Orleans who would be interested in participating, PLEASE PASS THIS INFO ALONG! Interested teens should email Dr. Clarance J. Bickham at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (504) 658-9583.
Teen Court has been on a bit of a hiatus in recent years, but Dr. Clarance J. Bickham is bringing it back this summer. A program like this can make a HUGE, POSITIVE IMPACT on the kids in our community. I've seen it myself.
APRIL Awareness Event
On Sunday, April 11, 2021, we hosted an APRIL AWARENESS event in Audubon Park. We love crafting, and the kids we work with love receiving hand-made gifts, so we often host "Craft for a Cause" events. Yesterday, we made pinwheels.
While it didn't pan out like I'd envisioned (when does it ever?), it was a great, successful afternoon for LTK. I was so encouraged. The main goal was to keep child abuse issues in the public mind and stimulate conversations about it, and we did just that. Adults enjoyed free, cold water on their afternoon walk or jog, toddlers in strollers LOVED the pinwheels we taped to their strollers, older kids taped pinwheels to their bikes, dozens of awareness t-shirts were given away, and many strong connections were made. Listen to Kids will continue to hold a safe space for our community to talk about child abuse and its affects.
THANK YOU for your donations of money and time yesterday!
Sidewalk Chalk Event
The Sidewalk Chalk event on March 14 was wonderful! We gave away all 50 "Sidewalk Chalk Awareness Kits," and then started giving kids leftover chalk. We also distributed over 50 pieces of prevention literature. In the process, we made several new connections with our neighbors. It was so sweet to see kids walking in Audubon Park holding blue pinwheels!
One boy fell off his bike looking at our decorations. His dad comforted him, and we brought them ice and a pinwheel. Father & son found a way to attach the pinwheel to his bike so that it would spin as he biked. He left with a big, proud smile on his face, and his dad left with prevention literature.
Car Full of In-Kind Donations!
On February 23, Michelle received an entire CARLOAD of in-kind donations!
- 5 LARGE bags of clothing and shoes (from Alicia & family)
- 38 travel bags of different sizes (from Linda, on behalf of Women for a Better Louisiana)
All of it was delivered to the closets of the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center/New Orleans Child Advocacy Center (NOCAC) that afternoon.
We can't THANK YOU enough,
ALICIA, LINDA & WBL!
Valentines for the Girls at Raintree House
For Valentine's Day this year, Listen to Kids prepared a Valentine's gift for each teen girl living at Raintree House. It's a group home for foster kids.
Thanks to our donors' generosity, we made 15 gifts for UNDER $5 EACH!!!
Each girl received:
- a hand-made Valentine card
- a piece of new jewelry, wrapped in a box
- a new journal
- a gel pen
- Valentine's candy
Of course, I had to throw in a few Haydel's king cakes.
February Donation to Covenant House NOLA!
On February 12, 2021, we delivered FOUR giant garbage bags full of clothing and about a dozen stuffed animals to the 200ish kids living at Covenant House NOLA. Your in-kind donations of new or gently used clothing are vital for Covenant House's program. THANK YOU THANK YOU, Mom & Dad, and Alicia, for these donations. They'll make kids feel worthy this winter.
At Christmastime 2020,
Listen to Kids participated in collecting, packaging, and distributing
SO MANY GIFTS to local kids who've suffered abuse & its consequences!!!
- Raintree House (home for adolescent girls) -- 15 Christmas gift bags (reusable totes) filled with beauty & self-care items
- Covenant House NOLA (home for homeless teens) -- 8 board games, 20 toiletry kits, 15 individually wrapped & personalized Christmas gifts for teen girls, about a dozen large hygiene items to share (toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.), personal notes to employees, and handmade Christmas ornaments
- NOCAC (kids who experience abuse, through age 19) -- over 50 winter coats, 30 blank journals, new toys for toddlers, 6 new outfits for boys ages 5-8, 15 pairs of new shoes, tampons & pads, and handmade Christmas ornaments
N.O. Mission Gala 2020
Listen to Kids was honored to have a table at this year’s New Orleans Mission Gala, held at Lynhaven Retreat Center, their women’s discipleship campus. Women in the program cooked & served us dinner. We were serenaded by Danny Gokey, and David Bottner told story after story of transformed lives at the Mission. The event was held outside on the retreat center grounds on a gorgeous evening. It was a wonderful night of celebration, gratitude, & networking for those of us interested in helping the homeless of all ages.
Homelessness & Listen to Kids
Youth and Adult Homelessness are the frequent result of untreated Adverse Childhood Experiences, especially abuse and neglect.
In NOLA, we're partnering with the New Orleans Mission. Many adults who seek help there have never addressed their childhood traumas.