The majority of child abusers are the parents of the abused, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems. It’s a horrific thought, but it proves to be true year in and year out. What’s more, because child abuse and neglect largely occurs within the home, it can go on unnoticed or unreported. Santa Barbara County’s Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) exists to change that. “[CALM] treats families in crisis. The idea is to step in before something terrible happens,” says Caroline Sweet, CALM Auxiliary member and volunteer.
On May 13, the community can step in and help at the first Santa Barbara Gift Show & Sale at Earl Warren Showgrounds. The fundraiser promises a robust array of more than 100 hand-selected vendors coming together in support of the organization, featuring one-of-a-kind artisan goods, clothing, bags, jewelry, homewares, food products, and more. Admission and parking is free — the Santa Barbara Gift Show & Sale is all about the shopping and, in turn, helping CALM keep on. All money from the vendor booth fees will go directly to CALM and its services.
Established in Santa Barbara in the early ’70s by nurse Claire Miles, who was compelled to action by the death of a shaken infant, CALM started as a crisis hotline out of Miles’s home, a simple initiative that would develop into a dexterous nonprofit benefiting thousands within the community. Over the years, CALM has held to its core mission, providing free therapeutic services and a non-judgmental ear, with articulate programs mindfully geared toward child abuse prevention, intervention, and education. “I don’t think you can ever validate children enough in what they need to know,” says Toni Schinnerer, CALM Auxiliary president.
CALM will continue to validate children and families across Santa Barbara County — and with gusto, thanks to the aid of proceeds from festive events passionately imagined by its devoted and savvy volunteers and auxiliary members.
CALM will host the Santa Barbara Gift Show & Sale on Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real). For more information, visit calm4kids.org.
Click here for more information on child maltreatment.