BANDON — At their May meeting, the members of 100 Strong Bandon selected Bay Area Hospital's Kids Hope Center as its charity for the quarter. The center provides a non-threatening friendly location where law enforcement and medical professionals can work together to interview, examine and advocate for child abuse victims, all under one roof. More than $3,200 was raised by 100 Strong Bandon to benefit the Kids Hope Center, with the charity presented by member Mary Carol Roberson.
On a per capita basis, Coos County had the highest rate of child abuse in Oregon in 2017, and the number has been rising for three years. Last fall, the Leadership Team at Bandon High School surveyed the student body on the major issue facing their students. The students responded that child abuse in Bandon had to be stopped.
During April, Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Center put pinwheels out in visible places to remind people that children are being abused. Each pinwheel put out around the grounds of the Kids HOPE Center represented a child abuse victim that the center assisted over the past year. This year, the center put out 412 pinwheels. BHS Leadership Class students put out 25 pinwheels in front of the high school. The 25 pinwheels are a small representation of the number of Bandon children who were identified as abused and assisted last year, per teacher Kevin Haan, as reported in the Bandon Western World earlier.
Bay Area Hospital supports the bricks and mortar for the Kids Hope Center. The director works on grants continually. Staff is volunteering time to help care for this large number of cases and their tight budget allows for no overtime. Sustainability is always a struggle for organizations like this, and 100 Strong Bandon voted to help meet the needs of this organization with their funding.
Anyone with questions about child abuse or who wishes to sign up for a class on identifying and reporting abuse can call 541-266-8806. Training sessions will also be held in October in Bandon, sponsored by the Bandon Rotary Club.
100 Strong Bandon is a women’s giving circle that supports local charities. Quarterly, the members meet, select a 501(c)(3) charity that benefits Bandon area residents and make a tax-deductible donation of $50 or more directly to that charity, all within a one-hour meeting. To find out more about the group, go to www.bandon.com/100-strong or simply come to a meeting. The next meeting of 100 Strong Bandon will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the downstairs lounge at Lord Bennett's.
Those who are members and were unable to attend the May meeting can still mail or drop off their checks, made payable to Kids Hope Center, at the Chamber of Commerce office, 300 Second Street SE.