Operation Underground Railroad has had the privilege of teaming up with Childhelp, a non-profit organization that fights against the darkness of child abuse. Together we continue to fight against human trafficking and exploitation across the nation. Here is more about our incredible partners:
Founders of Childhelp, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson.
Founded by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson in 1959, Childhelp has brought the light of hope and healing into the lives of more than 11 million children as the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting child abuse and neglect. Childhelp’s mission is to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children through prevention, intervention, treatment, and community outreach. They also work hand in hand with like minded groups like Operation Underground Railroad to help build a better future for children throughout our nation and the world.
Childhelp is a proud co-beneficiary alongside O.U.R. of Rosevelt Rawl’s The Music and the Message campaign, which raises important funds for both organizations through events, music and other initiatives. Childhelp and O.U.R. also collaborated on a new child exploitation component for Childhelp “Speak Up Be Safe,” a prevention education curriculum taught in schools around the world. Together, it is their aim to end child abuse and exploitation and create a safer world for children.
Founders of Childhelp Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, reading to children at the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona.
Rather than solely focus on one aspect of the issue, Childhelp brings crisis intervention, treatment, prevention, advocacy and policy efforts under one roof. These forces work together to pull America’s children out of abusive situations, heal their bodies and minds, and stop the cycle of abuse.
Childhelp operates the only 24/7 national hotline dedicated to child abuse and neglect. This line is available over call, text and chat and is operated by professional crisis counselors available to answer any question regarding abuse. With a warm counselor on the other end, a survivor can rest assured knowing the call is confidential and that they can be directed to local resources, agencies and ongoing counseling.
Childhelp’s two residential treatment facilities, located in Virginia and California, treat some of the most severe cases of abuse in the country. Pioneered in the 1980s, these “Villages” integrate clinical, art, recreation and animal-assisted therapies to restore the mind, body and spirit of a child as they heal from severe trauma.
Prevention education is another core tenant of Childhelp’s mission, serving to teach children developmentally appropriate skills to prevent or interrupt cycles of neglect, bullying, and child abuse—physical, emotional, and sexual. Since launching in 2011, the curriculum has instilled anti-bullying and safety tips into the lives of more than half a million children.
In addition to these lifesaving programs and services, Childhelp operates children’s advocacy centers, group homes, foster care and adoption agencies. All of these services work in tandem to ensure a survivor is met with constant, loving care throughout their healing journey.
Children participate in equine-assisted therapy at the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Village.
A girl named “Zoe” came to the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Residential Treatment Village in Virginia. There was something that took time for her to share with staff. While at Childhelp’s Village, after some encouragement from a friend, Zoe told her therapist that her grandmother regularly sold her to adult men as a way to fund her grandmother’s drug addiction.
To help heal Zoe’s trauma, Childhelp counselors employed a unique series of treatments, meeting her medical needs, providing specialized counseling and addressing the PTSD she experienced. Her complex trauma had left her vulnerable and traditional therapeutic methods were just some pieces of the puzzle. Donor-funded art, music, equine and animal-assisted therapies helped Zoe to paint her emotions, sing her sorrow, balance her spirit on horseback and cuddle with a four-legged friend when the tears flowed.
The journey was long but amazing and Zoe was beaming confidently as she received her Childhelp diploma, graduating to her next grade at the Village School. Childhelp’s wraparound services helped a survivor of sex trafficking heal her mind, heart and soul, and now she was ready to move on to a safe, loving home.
Together, Operation Underground Railroad and Childhelp collaborate to bring awareness to the issues of child abuse and human trafficking plaguing the country. O.U.R. is beyond grateful to have such dedicated partners serving humanity.