Last weekend was the second annual Child Advocates Superheroes Run — “powered” again this year by my buddies at MRE Consulting. The money raised helps some of the 5,000 or so children in the city of Houston who are in the custody of the state as a result of suspected abuse or neglect.*
This year’s Superheroes Run was just a little bit better than last year’s. We had more runners, things went even smoother, the weather was nicer, people seemed to have even more fun, and most importantly, we raised even more money. Last year’s Run — our first ever — was a huge success; this year’s was even bigger. We’re still doing the math, but it looks like we netted over $80k for Child Advocates.
I got to “chair” the Run again this year. As I said in my post about the 2013 run, this means that all my friends wind up doing lots of work and donate lots of money. I might feel a little guilty about the arm twisting, except that they’re helping one of the most worthy charities you can imagine. As I explained last year, abused kids need help and there isn’t a lot of financial support for helping them. Unlike charities for diseases, culture, churches or colleges, relatively few would-be philanthropists feel a personal connection to child neglect or consider themselves or their families to be at risk, so the big donations can be much harder to come by.
Another reason I support Child Advocates: It’s what I think of as a “teach ’em to fish” charity. Recall the saying: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach the man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Child Advocates’ impact on those kids alters their whole life. It doesn’t just provide food or comfort for the moment or the day and leave the beneficiary in need for continuing, further aid. It has a big impact at a critical time and improves kids’ lives forever. It’s money well spent.
Huge thanks to all the sponsors, and a special personal thanks to the presenting sponsor, MRE Consulting, and to my three friends who run the place: Mike Short (shown in a superman T-shirt with his son, Christopher), Shane Merz (shown in an MRE T-shirt with his WonderWomanWife, Michele), and Dru Niekirk (no good picture this year, but I got him heroically finishing in 2013). Also a personal thanks to my former law firm, Gibbs & Bruns (and its partners), to my friends and former law partners at Reynolds, Frizzell, Doyle, Allen and Oldham, to Ned Barnett, to Scott & Stacy Humphries, and to Kim David Dr. Paul Klottman at Baylor College of Medicine.
Child Advocates recruits, trains and supports a small army of about 750 volunteer Advocates, each one generally assigned to one or two kids in CPS custody. The Advocates’ primary role is to roll up their sleeves, talk to and work with the kids, parents, relatives, neighbors, and counselors, and to help CPS and the Courts to figure out how to resolve each child’s unique situation and get them — somehow — safely out of CPS custody. The mission is to break the “cycle” of child abuse — whereby abused kids too often grow up to be abusive parents. Child Advocates is almost thirty years old, so there are now many thousands of heartwarming stories of how Advocates have changed (and even saved) lives.
*To protect the privacy of the abused or neglected kids in CPS custody, we (Child Advocates) do not use or reveal images of them in any public promotions or advertisements for Child Advocates. The kids you see in photos on this page are not kids being served by Child Advocates. They’re just some of the hundreds who registered for the run and showed up with their families to take part in the event and support Child Advocates.