Re­bekah wants to stop child abuse

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Toko­roa’s Re­bekah Smith is on a mis­sion to save our chil­dren from child abuse.

Mrs Smith is the Toko­roa Jig­saw am­bas­sador. Jig­saw is a so­cial ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion that works to stop child abuse, ne­glect and fam­ily vi­o­lence.

On Satur­day Mrs Smith and a group of sup­port­ers held a sausage siz­zle to raise funds for Jig­saw’s work.

All money raised will be dis­trib­uted within the town and a meet­ing will be held with the pub­lic as to where the al­most $ 10,000 should go.

‘‘ We will be hold­ing a com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion so any­one in our com­mu­nity can come on board and help de­cide how we can best use this money.’’

Mrs Smith said her cam­paign­ing had helped ease the door open for peo­ple to dis­cuss child abuse, a sub­ject which was some­times avoided.

‘‘It is a sen­si­tive sub­ject but we must talk openly about it and look at ways to re­duce our sta­tis­tics. We must act now to pro­tect our district’s chil­dren.’’

Mrs Smith, a mother of three was in­spired by her fa­ther to help chil­dren.

‘‘My dad worked for a Chris­tian child and fam­ily sup­port ser­vice called the Open Home Foun­da­tion. We had fos­ter kids come through home and many of the chil­dren had suf­fered abuse. It had a pro­found ef­fect on me. It made me re­alise how hard some chil­dren have it. Since then I have al­ways wanted to help.’’

Mrs Smith is also run­ning the New York marathon later this year to help raise money for Jig­saw op­er­a­tions.

Jig­saw na­tional pro­ject man­ager Sally Christie said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was ex­tremely proud of the work Re­bekah had done.

‘‘Her tire­less work to not only raise aware­ness but also money for Jig­saw has been amaz­ing. Jig­saw are pleased to make Re­bekah an am­bas­sador of our or­gan­i­sa­tion. We will con­tinue to sup­port the great work Re­bekah is do­ing.’’

FOR THE CHIL­DREN: Re­bekah Smith and Sally Christie turn sausages to raise funds for chil­dren.

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