My name is Hunter—that's me up above—and I am the online voice of Thursday's Child. I don't suppose you know me, but then I don't know you, so that puts us on equal terms. I have a Skype account. My username is huntingtonsmith. Huntington Smith is my given name. I'm not at my computer all the time, but I answer when I can and I answer when I'm there. Or I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm here to help. I believe that all people are born with the ability to help, but it becomes our decision whether we choose to or not.
Growing up is not easy in today's world. Kids today are faced with bullying, cutting, anorexia, bulimia and thoughts of suicide. They're having sex at earlier and earlier ages. They face pregnancy and the threat of disease. Fewer and fewer parents are staying together. More and more smoke and use of alcohol and drugs. Children get abused. Kids runaway; sometimes don't come back. Chances are you either know one, even though some of them look so perfect from a distance. Someone once said that TEEN stands for Trying Everything to be an Example for No one. They try to fit in, but they don't know how or where or why. They cut themselves. They starve themselves to change themselves. Sometimes they hate themselves. Sometimes they just cry. And this is why Thursday's Child is here.
Remember the number. Remember that it always answers. Remember that someone is always there. Remember that you're important to us. Remember.
Thursday's Child was founded in 1982. What initially began as an organization to help only runaways, soon transformed into one that help all endangered children, from missing to amiss. It operates a 24-hour helpline for parents and teens and those close and concerned—a helpline, not just a hotline. We don't just listen; we look for solutions.
Let us take bullying as an example. Numerous children have self-injured or even killed themselves from having been bullied. But unlike other organizations that champions the issue, Thursday's Child is the only one to proactively deal with it, interfacing, not only with the victims, but with the schools in order to get the bullying stopped once and for all.
And then take suicide. No one wants to die. No one. Those who call hotlines are looking for solutions, not commiseration. Where hotlines merely listen, our helpline looks to fix whatever is causing the slow death of the soul. The same is with cutting or anorexia or bulimia, because if a call-in line is just there to listen and comfort for the moment, when the moment is up, when the call is ended, the feelings return. This is a Band-Aid philosophy that we do not adhere to.
Thursday's Child has recovered missing children, and helped to bring them back home. It has provided shelter to kids, who have had nowhere to go. It, the charity, has consistently, over the more than three decades it has been in existence, tried to be there for any and every child or parent or friend or relative who calls for help for a child. And many of those children from the very beginning, who we helped to survive, who were in their teens back then, are now middle-aged, many with children of their own.
"I want you to know, that if it wasn't for you, I don't know where my granddaughter would be today." Ellen Bush, Reseda, California
"I was suicidal many times, and if it weren't for you, I'd be dead." R.R. (now an adult), Hawaiian Gardens, California
"I would like to thank you for the effective and expeditious manner in which you handled my daughter's problem. I want you to know that in my desperate search for help, I made at least fifty phone calls to many different people, e.g. ministers, lawyers, the L.A. Times, the Herald Examiner, and I even called the police department. Even though I was inundated with advice, referrals and genuine concern, my prayers were not answered until I contacted you... It seemed you were always there. Day or night whenever I dialed the hotline number, you were always there... Even after you got [my daughter] back into school, you continued to show your solicitude by following up on the initial problem, [her] suicide attempt. I want to thank you for speaking with [her] while she was in the hospital, and even after her return home. It did wonders for her... Thank you for helping to keep my family united. Sincerely, Danielle Phelps, Los Angeles, California.
"You saved my life twice while I was a teen." CAW, Denver, Colorado.
"We are sincerely appreciative of your action in behalf of this child... so that she could return home. Your dedication to serving runaways is exemplary and Thursday's Child is to be commended." Ruth Ann Wilson, Children, Youth and Families Counseling Supervisor, State of Florida, Department of Health and Human Services.
"I thank you for reaching out to help the most vulnerable in our society get their lives back on track. I am confident that Thursday's Child will continue to help all children and restore their hope and self-respect." California State Assemblyman, Lloyd Levine.
"Certificate of Congressional Recognition, presented to Thursday's Child, in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community." Brad Sherman, Member of Congress.