Raising Awareness in Spring

I think I’ve entered the, “Here’s what’s been bothering me all these years.” phase of magazine ownership. 

I did the, “Oh, this is all so new.” portion. The, “Why won’t you people pay me?” portion. (Didn’t like that one. Still don’t.) And the, “You like me! You really like me!” portion. Sally Field aside, I’ve been through seasons with this thing. 8 years is a long time. 

So, here’s what grinds my gears (Family Guy fans?).

Why in the world do we raise awareness about the worst stains of society during the nicest time of year?

When I think of spring, there’s no unpleasantness. I think, warming weather, new flowers, bird singing again, new life, new hope. There are no dark thoughts associated with spring. So why on Earth, is that the time to bring awareness to our nation’s darkest cloud; child abuse. Seems like a time more suited for hope. 

I’m going to give my suggestion on an awareness months retooling and then I’ll share my rationale.

As I see it, all child welfare months should be honored in the following order; February – Child Abuse Month, March-Social Worker Month, April- Foster Care Month, May – Adoption Month. 

Makes better sense to me to go in the general sequence of events. 

Child abuse is how the majority of kids enter the system. The month should reflect the mood. Dark, cloudy, empty, sounds echo and carry, the air hurts. These qualities more match the subject that we’re trying to raise awareness. 

Social Worker Month should follow, as it does once child abuse has been reported. Just makes sense. Plus, March is the start of the thaw. Child abuse is cold, social workers do their best to get the heart warm again. 

Foster Care Month comes next. Because, in most cases, foster care comes next. For some kids, this is a step in the right direction, a step towards normality. We’ve got hope here. Best case scenario, the warmth returns. 

Finally, in May, Adoption month. I can go either way with this one. November is good for having a season to yourself, but is it the right month for what is considered the best part of the system? The kid finds their family, their normal. That’s some heartwarming stuff. Maybe you need that in the winter, but sequentially it should wrap up the awareness season. 

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Been bothering me. I feel lighter. Maybe next year I’ll let you know how I feel about the pinwheel being the symbol of Child Abuse Month. I feel I can be a strong advocate and still disagree about how we do certain things. 

For those wondering, “Hey, what’s Chris been up to?”. Still crazy busy with the mag, but I’m not as isolated as I was before. I’ve picked up a few shifts, late night, at a local 7-11. Pays for the cigarettes I shouldn’t smoke. But it’s good, keeps me grounded. Hard to have an ego while you’re cleaning bathrooms. It gets me out of the house.

And I’m still telling jokes sometimes they even pay me! I host a monthly show, do the open mics and this month I opened for Olivia Grace, and she’s been on Comedy Central! Believe that?!

This is a pretty great issue. Covering some quality topics. This issue has articles about the Opioid Crisis, software used in child welfare, addressing homelessness and to lighten things up a bit, a story about a comedian who combined comedy and fundraising for foster care to create a pretty extraordinary idea. 

On to Foster Care Month!