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The Bow Campaign

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

People gathered at Mercy Church in Englewood on April 13 at the 17th Annual Blue Bow event for National Child Abuse Awareness Month. In 1989, the Blue Bow Campaign was started when a grandmother named Bonnie Finney was seen wearing a blue ribbon on her car antenna in memory of her grandson. Finney’s grandson was abused and killed by his own parents. Finney’s act was meant to make people wonder and ignite their concern. It was her personal way of showing love and memory for her grandson. The blue ribbon caught on as a symbol of child abuse awareness and prevention. Since then, the group Children’s Home and Aid has promoted the blue ribbon campaign annually, spreading hope and the message that together we can prevent child abuse and neglect.

Women’s groups, youth groups, student councils, parenting groups and other local groups were all at the event at Mercy Church. There was poetry and face-painting along with discussion about child abuse and neglect. There was an interfaith prayer for the ones who lost their lives to child abuse and the ones who tried to prevent children from being abused and neglected by their families. After the prayer, we discussed recent tragedies. One was about LaShandra Armstrong, a single mother who drove her car into the Hudson River and killed three of her children. Everyone was speechless when they heard about this. Read more »

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Mothers Tackle Child Care Woes

by Stacy Springfield 

Under great stress from welfare reform changes in child care rules, working mothers in the Westhaven/Henry Horner Homes area are taking matters in their own hands.

Westhaven/Horner has nearly 2,500 welfare recipients. That large number for one neighborhood, coupled with the intense rate of children now being found ineligible for Supplemental Security Benefits, shows the critical need for child care in the Westhaven/Horner area as well as the city.

A task force appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley and Cook County Board President John Stroger reports that nearly 12,415 children will require publicly funded day care in the first year of reform. By the year 2000, the report finds a total of about 45,000 children will need child care. Read more »

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