The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is frequently requested to participate in various community-based projects and this is done as often as Sheriff Rader can manage the manpower to do so. However, through the volunteer efforts of LCSO personnel such as Communications Supervisor Sherry Walton and the volunteer deputies who assist her, helping Founder Belinda Hernandez and Team Leader Marion Campbell of the Raising Awesome Awareness ( RAA) organizations is an opportunity to bridge the gap between intellectual disabled children and first responders. It is often the case where even a uniform of law enforcement, firemen or first responders tend to frighten these children when, in fact, these first responders are the first ones the children should turn to when they are lost or confused and have no familiar family member or friend to help them.
This non-profit Raising Awesome Awareness organization was founded in 2016 by Belinda Hernandez who knows too well the circumstances faced by both parents and children as she, herself, has a child with such issues . It was not long before her staff of six other mothers, including Team Leader Marion Campbell, who also has a child dealing with this disability, teamed up to address this common interest in helping these children and their parents deal with their respective situations. A later meeting with LCSO Sherry Walton resulted in the Sheriff’s Office dispatchers now maintaining a listing of children who, if lost, has all their pertinent information registered with the LCSO which may result in a quick recovery and identification of the child and a safe return home to their family.
This volunteer organization works hard to make these children feel at home in fun environments so on Wednesday, June 22 a Summer Camp will be held at the City of Liberty Municipal Park from 9 am to 1pm to heighten this type of experience of fun and games. The volunteer LCSO personnel will be on hand that day to conduct a “show and tell” program for the attendees. Then on Saturday, June 25 a fun-filled “Dance Off” of uniformed Deputies vs Kids will be held at the Hardin Fire Station from 4:pm to 6:pm and this will also include a live auction with the public invited.
After the event closes to the public at 6 pm, the children will be treated to a delicious meal provided by LCSO Ed Webb while a tasty desert will be provided courtesy of Pastor Kenneth Smith and his members of The Church That Cares. Even the Fire Station building, itself, is being provided by Klint Bush, President of the ESD #7 Fire District. It’s clear these children and their parents come first with these heart-felt volunteers and their unselfish donation of their time in bringing together not only fun and games but the reality of knowing that First Responders are the first ones the children can depend upon if they should find themselves in a strange and different environment of which they are not accustomed.
For additional information on any of these events or for the Raising Awesome Awareness (RAA) organization, contact Founder Belinda Hernandez at (936) 776-1310 or Team Leader Marion Campbell at (404) 790-0741.