By CHRIS AGEE
Advocates from various local organizations have joined in a monthlong effort in commemoration of Child Abuse Awareness Month.
Throughout April several events and fundraisers were planned, prominently displaying the color blue to designate the common cause.
The month's events will culminate Sunday at North Oak Church of Christ as congregants are invited to share in a nationwide day of prayer known as Blue Sunday.
According to Palo Pinto County Child Welfare Board Member Cheryl Berry, a number of individuals involved in child abuse treatment and prevention attend the church and worked with leaders to coordinate the upcoming event.
"One of the things we're going to do is pin blue lapel ribbons on people when they come in," she said. "Before Sunday comes, we will have put blue ribbons around the building so it is very visible."
North Oak Church of Christ has been involved in the community campaign all month, Berry said, explaining the church marquee has displayed the slogan, "There's No Excuse for Child Abuse."
This is the first year locals have engaged in the event, Berry said, expressing her hope attendance and participation continues to grow in coming years.
"We think this is a great way for more people to be involved with Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month as well as a great way to end the month," she said.
Attendees will be led in a special song for the occasion, she explained, with the sermon and prayer directed toward the issue of child abuse.
In an effort to share the facts associated with child abuse, Sunday's bulletin at the church will include a fact sheet based on state statistics and a list of county entities dedicated to working with abused and neglected children.
For more information about Blue Sunday or how you can get involved in spreading the word, visit bluesunday.org.