COMMMENTARY

Helping children in crisis shine

Posted

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are the child of an opioid addicted parent and you wake up every morning not knowing what the day will bring, whether there will be food to eat, whether there will be money for the bare necessities of life, or worse yet, whether today will be another day of mental or physical abuse. 


Now, close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you are the child of an opioid addicted parent and you wake up every morning and spend the day watching an opioid addicted parent slowly dying from the poison which feeds their addiction. 


Now, close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself what you could do, or what you would do, for any of the thousands of children across Kentucky who do not have to close their eyes and imagine the daily horrors of living with an opioid addicted parent.  Now, close your eyes and imagine for a moment that there is an organization that starts and ends each day providing a safe and loving place where the children of an opioid addicted parent can find refuge from the daily horrors which so many of them face, a safe space dedicated to “helping children in crisis shine.” 


Now, open your eyes and stop imagining about an organization that starts and ends each day providing a safe and loving place where the child of an opioid addicted parent can find refuge from the daily horrors which most of us could never imagine with closed eyes, let alone face each day with open eyes. 


There is no reason to imagine because the organization, Sunrise Children’s Services, has been helping children in crisis shine since 1869.  This organization of dedicated caregivers spend every day of their lives providing thousands of Kentucky’s hurting children, including the children of an opioid addict parent, with a safe space and refuge from the daily horrors which most of us could never imagine with closed eyes, let alone face with open eyes.


Now that you have opened your eyes to this growing crisis and epidemic of opioid addiction, and the need for organizations like Sunrise Children’s Services consider the words of Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, when she so eloquently wrote, “Children can’t fix this crisis and desperately need adults to act to stem this epidemic. As the youngest victims wait they need physical, social, and emotional resources and supports to help them cope and move forward.” 


So, while the opioid epidemic spreads across Kentucky, and the number of children of an opioid addicted parent increase, ask yourself where the Sunrise Children’s Services of the world will find the resources necessary to continue to provide a safe space and refuge for every child who wants, needs, and deserves a safe space and a refuge from the unimaginable daily horrors as a child of an opioid addicted parent. 


Those resources will only come when each of us opens our hearts, our homes, and our wallets to support the growing financial needs of Sunrise Children’s Services, financial needs which will allow Sunrise to continue its mission of helping children in crisis shine.


So, as I often do, today I will ask each of you to join me on my imaginary mountaintop as I visit Sunrise’s website at www.sunrise.org and generously donate to ensure that every child, of every addicted parent, will have a safe place and refuge from the daily horrors which so many of them face, a safe space and refuge dedicated to helping each of these precious children in crisis shine.

 

Mark Wohlander, a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor, practices law in Lexington.  Mark spent years prosecuting those responsible for abusing children, and now is a strong advocate for Sunrise Children’s Services.


Kentucky Today’s Perspectives section provides a public forum for our readers to express their views on issues of importance. The opinions expressed are those of the writer and should not be construed as an official position taken by this newspaper. We encourage you to join in the conversation by sending your essays to editor@kentuckytoday.com. We reserve the right to reject submissions deemed inappropriate.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions