Cross Petroleum sponsors Child Abuse Prevention Month fundraising program at stores

Ever struggled to be the Blue Ribbon winner? Like most of us, despite your best efforts, you probably stood on the sidelines applauding for the lucky winner – feeling blue inside but certainly having no ribbon to hang on the wall.

Well there’s good news in the blue ribbon world: During Child Abuse Prevention Month, all Siskiyou County residents can be first class winners.

Throughout April, Cross Petroleum customers can donate a dollar or more to the national Blue Ribbon Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention campaign to pledge their support against child abuse. Donors sign their names on blue pledge cards with a blue ribbon background and then the card is hung on the wall. “By the end of April, typically all seven stores are wall to wall blue,” said co-owner Jimm Cross.

“Last year, we raised $3,639; this year, we’re hoping to raise even more,” Cross added. “The walls draw a lot of attention to the issue. We donate all the money to Siskiyou Community Services Council, who we partner with on this issue.”

“It’s a huge tribute to our customers; we’re just the conduit,” Cross noted. “We help make them aware of the issue through the pledge cards and ribbons. We also supply calendars of events listing activities sponsored by each community’s resource center.”

The Blue Ribbon Campaign is one of many community programs Cross Petroleum supports. “It fits in well with our mission of providing support for the communities we live in,” Cross said. “We support our youth through Little League and other sports. You can’t support youth without being involved in child abuse awareness and prevention.”

“We’re very happy with Cross Petroleum’s participation in fighting child abuse; they’re great community partners in addressing this issue,” said Jill Phillips, Executive Director of Siskiyou Community Services Council. SCSC has been the designated Child Abuse Prevention Council for Siskiyou County since 2003.

“The rate of child abuse and neglect in Siskiyou County is three times higher than the state average,” Phillips emphasized. “It takes all of us, businesses, individuals, parents, and neighbors to address this important issue in our county.”

“We’re very appreciative of their support and the money they raise, thanks to their customers, to support child abuse prevention efforts here,” Phillips added. “Cross Petroleum and the community working together makes this program such a success.”

“Last year, we sponsored the Child Abuse Prevention walk/run in Yreka and donated money raised by the Blue Ribbons,” Nichole Torsey, co-owner of Cross Petroleum said. “This year we decided to keep working with the Blue Ribbons and to hand out schedules of community events sponsored by the local resource centers. The ribbons make everyone feel good, which they should; taking a stand against abuse makes you a winner.”

April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month with Ronald Reagan’s 1982 Presidential Proclamation. Locally, public awareness of child abuse and neglect is promoted each April with “Blue Ribbon Campaigns” and other special events.  

The ribbon symbol was first used in 1989 when a grieving grandmother began displaying a royal blue ribbon to memorialize her young grandson, who died as a result of abuse.

Studies of child abuse indicate the effects can be both severe and long term, often extending into adulthood. Abused or neglected children are more likely to struggle in school, use drugs or alcohol, go to jail, or abuse their own children.
 
America’s statistics are alarming – every 36 seconds a child is abused.  

Last year Siskiyou County Child Protective Services received 902 referrals, a number representing nearly one child out of 10, according to Phillips. Of these referrals, 301 cases were substantiated.  

“Every blue ribbon donation directly supports local child abuse and neglect prevention efforts,” Phillips said.
“Siskiyou has an enormous asset in our 10 Family and Community Resource Centers,” Phillips added. “Cross’s Blue Ribbon Campaign helps support their efforts.”

 Resource centers in Dunsmuir, Mount Shasta, McCloud, Weed, Fort Jones, Happy Camp, Yreka, Dorris, Tulelake and Montague provide calendars  of family activities and support services to their local communities throughout the year. First 5 Siskiyou, CASA, Northern Valley Catholic Social Services, Remi Vista, and Children First also provide important services to families and children.

Blue Ribbons and schedules of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness activities are available at Cross Petroleum convenience stores at the Mt. Shasta Spirit, the Dunsmuir Chevron, the two Weed Chevrons, the McCloud Chevron, the Ft. Jones Chevron and the Yreka Chevron.