On Tuesday, April 2, more than 150 volunteers, partners, and legislators joined the Children’s Trust for its 13th annual Step Up for Kids event at the Massachusetts State House. As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, 578 shoes were displayed on the Grand Staircase to represent the average number of children abused or neglected each week in Massachusetts.
“The shoes you see before you today represent real children who have experienced a childhood of trauma and suffering rather than happiness and health, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Suzin Bartley, Executive Director of the Children’s Trust. “We have the opportunity to put our resources into programs that we know can prevent child abuse so that all of Massachusetts’ children can grow up healthy and strong. My dream is that we will stand here one day with no shoes on these steps.”
Senator Joan Lovely and Representative Elizabeth Malia were honored for their commitment to supporting programs to stop child abuse before it happens. Two dedicated young parents, Rehema James of Dorchester and Katia Ramirez of Lynn, shared their stories and the impact Healthy Families has had on their lives.
Generous sponsors of the event included Two Ten Footwear Foundation and SHOES.COM, who donated 578 children’s shoes used for the event. All of the shoes will be given to families participating in Children’s Trust programs. In addition, the wives of Boston Bruins players were in attendance to show their support.
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