2018 Child Abuse Prevention Month
(Carterville, IL | April 2, 2018

On April 6th, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, in partnership with The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children and other community organizations, held a press conference to launch April Child Abuse Prevention Month 2018.

Guest speakers included Dr. Ronald K. House, President, John A. Logan College; Jo Poshard, Executive Director, The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Brittney Hale, Prevention Specialist, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois; Lori Gray, Southern Region Administrator, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Dr. Matt Buckman, Egyptian Health Department; and Brandon Zanotti, Williamson County State's Attorney; The event included resource tables provided by area agencies highlighting programs and resources for area families.

"Children are our future and all children deserve great childhoods," said Denise McCaffrey, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. "We need to recognize that each one of us has a role to play in preventing child abuse. It's about our future. It's about protecting children!"

Child Abuse Prevention Month has been observed each April since its first presidential proclamation in 1983. Since that time, millions of Americans have participated in this national campaign. Individuals, organizations and communities across the United States plant pinwheels, tie ribbons, organize trainings, host fundraisers, and support a multitude of other activities celebrating healthy, happy childhoods and raising awareness that all children deserve to grow up in nurturing, safe homes. Thank you for joining us on April 6th to show your support for all children and their families.

The following organizations and individuals were instrumental in planning this event: Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, and Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center. To learn more about child abuse prevention, visit www.preventchildabuseillinois.org

     Williamson County State's Attorney, Brandon Zanotti

     Crowd at the 2018 Child Abuse Prevention Month Kick-Off

Anderson's Warehouse Furniture Donation
(Carterville, IL | January 4, 2018)

Anderson's Warehouse Furniture with stores in both Energy, IL and Pittsburg, IL presented the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children with a $2000 check the end of December!

A huge thanks to Lowell and Michelle Anderson for their generosity.

Thanks to all of you who took the Christmas Lyrics Quiz online to help make this donation possible!

Poshard Foundation Brings Holiday Joy
(Carterville, IL | December 18, 2017 | Article and photo courtesy of Shannon Woodworth/Logan Media Services)

Don't let the bright lights of Christmas blind you. There is a darkness during this magical holiday season that many may not see.

It's called poverty, which sometimes results in the abuse, abandonment, and neglect of children.

Can you imagine as a child a Christmas without a gift? Many in Southern Illinois find themselves with nothing to unwrap at all. No presents under a tree at a time that is supposed to be joyous and celebrated.

Knowing this, Glenn and Jo Poshard, co-founders of the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, decided to do as much as they possibly could about it.

John A. Logan College is home to the Poshard Foundation and has been for more than 18 years.

A year ago, the Poshard Foundation reached out to corporations for money to buy toys for those who would do without. It was a success. They did it again this year, but the magic grew even greater.

Buying children's gifts with money donated by Tri-State Business Equipment in Harrisburg, Ameren Illinois, and BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, the Poshard's and Foundation volunteers literally transformed a large room in the College's Workforce Development building into what seemed like a visit to Toys R Us.

All of the toys and gifts were brand new. Toys and gifts were collected by members of social service agencies in Southern Illinois on Monday and Tuesday and will be distributed to needy children just in time for Christmas.

"These children were not on anyone's Christmas list, but they are now," Jo Poshard said. "They are some of the neediest children in Southern Illinois who could have gone without this holiday season, but we were determined to find a way to make the holiday season a little brighter for them."

Glenn Poshard gives his wife and Foundation volunteers all the credit.

"This is the largest Christmas toy giveaway in the region," Glenn said. "Jo and our volunteers worked very hard to bring this about. They did it with so much love and joy, which marks this holiday season."

It couldn't be accomplished, however, without the business sponsors, Glenn noted.

"Even though it's the Christmas season, no one has to give," Glenn explained. "But look what happens when businesses and people do give. Look how magical the season becomes."

Social service agencies, who are sometimes forced to accept second-hand items for the region's neediest children, were overwhelmed by the massive toy display from which to choose.

"We are so blessed to be able to distribute these gifts and be a part of what Christmas is about, sharing gifts, sharing love to those who need it most," Jo said.

Dr. Ron House, president of John A. Logan College, was amazed by what was taking place on the College's campus. JALC isn't the North Pole, but for many, many Southern Illinois children, it might as well be.

"There are so many wonderful things that take place on this campus, many of which the public may not be aware of sometimes," House said. "To see the spirit of Christmas displayed in such a magnificent manner on our campus the way the Poshard Foundation has this week is a joy I wish everyone could experience."

     (left to right): Phyllis McCowen (volunteer), Jean McNeill (volunteer), and Jo Poshard (director)

New Beds at Christmas to the Williamson County Family Crisis Center
(Carterville, IL | December 14, 2017)

On Monday, December 18th at 11:00 AM, Jo and Glenn Poshard of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children and Peggy Russell, Executive Director of the Williamson County Family Crisis Center in Herrin, Illinois, will hold a press conference at the Family Crisis Center located at 514 N. 18th Street in Herrin. The Poshard Foundation recently purchased six twin beds for children living in the shelter.

The Williamson County Family Crisis Center has been in existence for over 30 years and serves as a refuge for families in crisis when they are in need of temporary shelter. Children often come to the shelter with their parents, and this becomes their temporary home.

Peggy Russell, who has headed the shelter for 22 years, said, "When children arrive at the shelter, they often come from places where they haven't had a bed. It's a very stressful situation for the children to move into a homeless shelter, and it's comforting for them to have their own beds to sleep in with sheets, pillow and comforters. Thanks to the Poshard Foundation, the children in our shelter now have six beds with brand new mattresses and foundations so they can get a good night's sleep."

"Hundreds of children are sleeping on floors, on futons, on anything they can find at night," said Jo Poshard. "These children, many of whom have been abused, neglected or abandoned, get up in the morning and go to school without proper rest, making it almost impossible for them to succeed. It's why our Foundation started a bed project several years ago. We've purchased hundreds of beds for them. It's one of the basic necessities of life."

Glenn Poshard stated, "It shouldn't happen in America, the wealthiest, most prosperous country in the world, but it does. It's at crisis proportion in Southern Illinois. Poor children who have no beds are deprived of a good night's sleep - something most of us take for granted. We are very happy to provide these six new beds to the shelter and the vulnerable children who reside here."

The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children is a charitable organization chartered in 1999. It seeks to help abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Southern Illinois. The Foundation has no paid employees and relies on volunteers to carry out its mission. John A. Logan College generously houses and hosts the Foundation office.

     (left to right): Glenn Poshard, Founder of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Jo Poshard, Executive Director of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Peggy Russell, Executive Director of the Williamson County Family Crisis Center in Herrin

Poshard Foundation Receives $5,000 Grant from Ameren Illinois
(Carterville, IL | December 11, 2017)

The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children recently received a $5,000 grant from Ameren Illinois to support children in southern Illinois through the Beds for Kids and Toys for Kids programs.

"Thank you to Ameren Illinois for your concern for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in southern Illinois. Every year Ameren has been there to support community charities in our region and has graciously donated thousands of dollars to children in crisis," said Jo Poshard, Executive Director of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children. "This grant to our Foundation will help buy beds for those children, many of whom are sleeping on floors or cots, and who are not getting a good night's sleep. The funds will also provide toys for children who would otherwise not be receiving gifts over the holidays and are not on anyone's Christmas list."

The grant is two-fold with part of the grant providing beds to abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Southern Illinois. These children have often lost everything in situations of domestic violence or where one or more parents are incarcerated. "Beds for Kids" helps abused children in southern Illinois, who have been placed in foster care or under the protection of a family member, feel as comfortable as possible.

The other portion of the grant will distribute toys to children in need during the holiday season. "Toys for Kids" allows agencies to provide gifts to children who would otherwise receive no presents for Christmas.

The grant funds were made available through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. Ray Riddle, division director of Ameren Illinois, said a key focus of this program is to partner with non-profit organizations like The Poshard Foundation to improve the quality of life in Ameren Illinois' service territory.

"There is no greater way to invest in the future of our communities than to support our children and help them succeed," said Riddle. "The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children provides meaningful programs that provide children with a range of resources - from basic necessities such as a bed, to the joyful experience of opening a gift on Christmas morning. This is why we are proud to continue to partner with them."

     (left to right): Glenn Poshard, Founder of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Ron Pate - Senior Vice President of Operations for Ameren Illinois; Jo Poshard, Executive Director of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Tina Gibbs - Ameren Illinois Community Relations Coordinator; Kelly Pate - Ameren Illinois Substation Superintendent

(Carterville, IL | November 22, 2017)

In October, 2017 CASA of Franklin County announced the opening of their Visitation Room to the public by holding an Open House. This is the only visitation room attached to a CASA in the state of Illinois. This space allows the children we advocate for and local children in care to visit privately with their families in a more home like setting. Children who are also waiting on court will be able to use this room. This room was made possible due to a $2500 grant through The Poshard Foundation.

Please help us raise money for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Southern Illinois, with a secure credit/debit card donation.