Breckenridge Texan

Candlelight vigil honors Stephens County foster children

Candlelight vigil honors Stephens County foster children
May 01
12:22 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

In a solemn ceremony honoring the local children who are in foster care, members of the Stephens County Child Welfare Board and others gathered for a candlelight vigil in the courthouse Monday evening, April 25.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and the the local child welfare board has shined a spotlight on the problems of child abuse and neglect all month long. They worked with Stephens County Judge Michael Roach to officially declare April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Stephens County; they decorated the courthouse lawn with white crosses, blue pinwheels, yellow sunflowers and other items in remembrance of children who died as a result of abuse or neglect in the past year; and they encouraged local churches to participate in Blue Sunday, a special day for churches and their parishioners to pray for the victims of child abuse.

According to Sharon Wimberley, chair of the Stephens County Child Welfare Board, there are more than 20 local children in foster care.

Before the lighting of the candles took place, the County Judge thanked the group for the work they do to help the abused and neglected children. He also led the group in a prayer for the children, for the members of the Child Welfare Board and for the foster families who take in the children.

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach, Paul Lippe and Linda Lippe participate in the candlelight ceremony honoring local foster children. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Then, one by one, each participant in the ceremony lit their candle and read aloud the gender and age of the children they were honoring.

Members of the Child Welfare Board urge everyone to familiarize themselves with the signs of abuse and neglect and to report their suspicions to the authorities.

There are several types of child abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect, and each type has a range of symptoms. Click here to read about some of the symptoms and warning signs of child abuse and neglect.

If you believe that a child is in immediate danger from child abuse or neglect, call 9-1-1 immediately and report your concerns to local law enforcement. Child abuse/neglect may also be reported by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or by going online to www.txabusehotline.org.

Members of the Stephens County Child Welfare Board include Sharon Wimberley, Alva Carey, Jan Davis, Carla Barnes,  Linda Lippe, Ruth Taylor, Stephanee Russell, Linda Burdic, Fran Sikes and JulieAnn Greenfield.

Linda Burdic, Jack Burdic, Jim Davis, Jan Davis, Carla Barnes, Sharon Wimberley and Jackie Ensey light their candles as part of the ceremony to remember local foster children. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Paul and Linda Lippe take part in the candlelight event at the Stephens County Courthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Jack Burdic and Jim Davis joined their wives, who are members of the Child Welfare Board, for the ceremony. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Jim Davis, Jan Davis, Carla Barnes, Sharon Wimberley and Jackie Ensey bow their heads in prayer during the candlelight ceremony honoring Stephens County foster children. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Members of the Stephens County Child Welfare Board and others gathered for a candlelight vigil on Monday evening, in the courthouse. Pictured, clockwise, from left, are Michael Roach, Paul Lippe, Linda Lippe, Ruth Taylor, Linda Burdic, Jack Burdic, Jim Davis, Jan Davis,  Carla Barnes, Sharon Wimberley and Jackie Ensey. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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