For over five years, Childhelp® has received (and continues to receive), up to 40 cents from the purchase of each case of Watt-Ahh® bottled water. The Founders of Childhelp®, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, have amazing life stories as the original advocates in the protection of neglected and abused children. Their tireless efforts worldwide received recognition from U.S. Presidents Carter and Reagan, as well as the Pope. The have also received nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2011, Florida became the first state in the nation to mandate prevention education in all schools (over 400 school districts) and selected Childhelp’s “Speak Up, Be Safe!” curriculum, which including web-based tools to combat cyberbullying. Donations also support a National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453), giving those in need access to professional crisis counselors.
This Month, Sarasota-based AquaNew, makers of Watt-Ahh®, unveiled a new 2016 summer banner series on its home page to honor Childhelp® and its mission to stop child neglect and abuse through prevention education. Childhelp® VP of Communications, Daphne Young, recently told us, “We know that your customers love that every water they drink helps our kids!”
History of Childhelp®
During the Korean War, actresses Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson traveled to Japan as part of a show to entertain the U.S. soldiers. While there, Sara and Yvonne found 11 orphan children who were cold, wet and hungry on the back streets, and temporarily sheltered these children in their hotel room. Sadly, these children, and many others, were homeless outcasts who were fathered by American servicemen. This was the beginning of their new life mission of raising donations that supported the five orphanages, a school and a hospital in the 1960s.
Later, in the mid-1970s, Sara and Yvonne could not turn their backs on the beautiful Vietnamese/American children who would have likely been killed by the Vietcong when the American troops pulled out of Vietnam. They compelled governmental and military officials to aid in organizing “Operation Baby Lift” to fly hundreds of children out of war-torn Vietnam and into the loving arms of their adoptive parents.
Sara and Yvonne did not rest. After hearing about a Senate Committee report that child abuse is an epidemic in the United States, they again raised funds and opened the doors of the first pioneering residential treatment center for abused children in 1978. The following year, Sara and Yvonne joined President Jimmy Carter to commemorate for the first time, April as the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In the early 1980s, Sara and Yvonne co-founded Childhelp®, a nonprofit organization, and started a 24-hour nationwide toll-free hot line (1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453) providing support access to professional crisis counselors. In the years that followed, Childhelp® opened and maintained residential treatment centers and villages in California, Tennessee, Virginia and Arizona. Childhelp® also sponsors many nationwide initiatives (such as “Speak Up, Be Safe!”).
Their daily lives continue to be devoted to protecting children against abuse and neglect, and organizing fundraisers with help of many of Childhelp’s celebrity sponsors. Even with all of their national and international honors, Sara and Yvonne remain kind and compassionate women who take the time to write eloquent notes of encouragement and hope to us (AquaNew) which we have – in turn – shared with our caring customers through the years.
CLICK HERE to read more about the History of Childhelp®.