As supporters of Sisters of Mercy and their campaign of non-violence, Mercy Crest Assisted Living is committed to helping victims of child abuse. Right now, we are raising funds to help support the local chapter of Riders United 4 Children.
Who are they?
Riders United 4 Children is “a child-centered, non-political, result-oriented 501c3 organization which exists to end child abuse, help children and families in need through educational, financial and social means.”
What do they do?
Rider’s United 4 Children “help[s] children and families in need through educational, financial and social means. We do not pay rent or utilities. We can, however, help to find resources in your area that may be able to help with those.”
Members of the organization go by “road names”, which are nicknames to help protect them and the work they do for the children in the community. Children who become part of the group also pick road names to help protect their identities. These names, while practical, also help give the kids a sense of belonging with their new friends in RU4C.
Vice President of the Fort Smith chapter, known as “Shrek”, has been with the organization since 2017. He says that the organization is meant to provide education about child abuse (the different types of abuse). They also support victims and families emotionally while raising funds to meet the tangible needs of these victims.
“We get contacted sometimes by child services or other organizations that can’t exactly help these kids in the way we are designed to do,” says Shrek, “We hold events to educate the public about the four types of child abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect.”
Types of Child Abuse
While sexual abuse is often the focus of news articles and social media outcry, it’s actually neglect that accounts for 75% of child abuse in the United States.
Abuse by neglect can look like:
- Failure to provide food, shelter or supervision
- Failure to provide medical treatment
- Failure to make sure a child receives education
- Failure to meet a child’s emotional needs or provide psychological care
- Substance abuse: Some states recognize substance abuse by a parent or caregiver as a form of neglect if a parent harms the child due to substance abuse. A parent might sell or give drugs or alcohol to a child, manufacture drugs in the presence of a child or be unable to supervise and care for a child as the result of drug use.
In the Community
In the last year, the Fort Smith chapter helped 22 children last year have presents at Christmas from donations that help support Riders United 4 Children. They held a back-to-school event in Mulberry, giving $600 dollars in school supplies to children that needed them.
“As a victim myself, I’m very passionate about this,” said Shrek, “we try to meet the needs of these families and children. Many members take counseling courses, and classes through the Hamilton House to become more understanding of the situation.”
Help Support Riders United 4 Children:
“You must have a love to help children. Must be able to pass background checks and no crimes against women or children….There is no startup fee.” RU4C website.
The local Fort Smith chapter currently has about 12-13 members and they want the public to know that you don’t even need to be a biker or own a bike to become a member. “They just need access to a bike, and you can rent one from Harley Davidson!”
If you can’t donate online, please send your donation to 1300 Strozier Lane, Barling AR 72923. Please make any checks out to “Riders United 4 Children“.