All in good spirit, about
a hundred people put on their favorite superhero costume and made their way
down to Grace Dunn Richardson Park in Lufkin for a morning run. Saturday CASA of the Pines held their 4th
annual Superhero 5k run to bring awareness to child abuse. April is child abuse
awareness month. Runner
Sandy White came out today to get some exercise and make a statement.
"If our children don't
feel safe they aren't going to learn," White said.
White is a teacher and
said it's important for children to have a healthy environment outside of
school, but some children don't get that opportunity.
When a child become a
victim of abuse and neglect organizations like CASA, which stands for court
appointed special advocates, step in.
"We make sure that
all their needs are being met from the physical, psychological, spiritual emotional
needs are being meet," said Natalie Thorton, CASA
They do so by meeting with
the children every so often to make sure they are doing well in school and are
thriving in their new placement.
Natalie Thornton has been
a court appointed special advocates for the last five years and said child
abuse is a growing problem in the area. Currently casa of the pines deals with
more than 200 cases a day, and the national numbers for child abuse are just as
alarming. Thornton said approximately 2,000 children become a victim of abuse or
neglect in the United States every day. Sadly, at least four children die every
day as a result of that abuse. Thorton said every child she works with touches
"Just recently I was
talking to a little girl she is about 7 years old, and she was recently adopted and I asked her
what do you call your casa because I didn't know if she called her casa by her
first name or what and she told me that she calls her casa her fairy god mother,"
casa do so much to protect the ones that can't protect themselves," White said.
Since 1995 CASA of the pines has served more than 1,000
abused and neglected children in Angelina, Houston, and Polk counties.