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Our Children USA and
Brooklyn District Attorney's Office
Partner To Make Holidays Special
For Foster Children
to right: Rashell Thompson, Brenda Campbell, Assistant
District Attorney Crimes Against Children Bureau Frank
Urzi, Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Love Our Children USA, Kings County District Attorney
Charles ynes, District Attorney and Chief Crimes Against
Children Bureau, Ama Dwimoh, Yvonne Pritchett, Assistant
District Attorney/Crimes Against Children Bureau, Catherine
Dagonese, Lucia Battaglia
STREET - On Friday afternoon, Santa delivered gifts
to about 30 children who have been crime victims in
Brooklyn. For the seventh year in a row, the Brooklyn
District Attorney's Office collected gifts and distributed
them to children who may not receive any other holiday
The program is co-sponsored by "Love Our Children
USA," a Manhattan-based organization for abused
children that donated a cake for Friday's party and
many of the presents.
The DA's Crimes Against Children Bureau invited about
60-65 children this year, and half responded. Only
children whose cases have been disposed of - whether
through a trial verdict or a plea are invited.
Bureau representatives emphasized that the cases have
to be closed, so that the kids' testimony is not influenced
by toys they received or presents they might win.
"The holidays are especially hard for these children,"
said Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of Love Our Children
U.S.A. Most of the children were victimized and abused
by family members, loved ones who are now in jail
serving substantial sentences for their crimes.
Ellis's kid-friendly website, www.loveourchildrenusa.org,
offers information for parents and kids about everything
from terrorism to shaken baby syndrome and child abuse.
According to the website, over three million children
are victims of child abuse each year in cases reported
in the United States, and almost 1.8 million children
are reported missing. Child abuse kills more than
three children every day in the United States, Ellis
If you suspect that a child is being abused, you can
make an anonymous report, and get it checked out.
Giving the child's name, age, address, parent's names
and any other pertinent information will greatly help
the child in the investigation.
To report child abuse, call the toll-free hotlines:
The National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453;
in New York (800) 342-3720. To report child abuse
or any other crime in Brooklyn, call the Brooklyn
District Attorney's Office: 718-250-2340.
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