I’m so very lucky to be on the Millenial Advisory Board for Ben & Jerry’s. They recently sent us Free Pint coupons to create Random Acts of Ice Cream. I’d just heard of an amazing new group in Austin working with kids in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, so I put two great groups together and sent coupons to Ripples of Hope for Children.
Ripples of Hope for Children is a nonprofit organization created to break the cycle of child abuse and juvenile delinquency by bridging the gaps for children and youth involved in the foster-care and juvenile-justice systems. Ripples of Hope for Children provides the support structure necessary to strengthen the families of these children by connecting them to critical community services and opportunities.
Specifically, the pint coupons will likely be used in SYNC Court (kids aging out of the foster care system and trying to prepare for life on their own) or for COPE Court (kids with severe mental health issues who are given a chance to stay out of juvenile probation and have their charges dropped if they and their families work the program). These could be kids on the autism spectrum, kids with low IQ due to parental drug use, kids who have experienced so much trauma that they’ve just shut down and are socially unresponsive … it’s heartbreaking to see how many mental health issues are created for teens especially with histories of abuse and neglect.
Executive Director Gena Vanosslear says, “A lot of time, the kids with mental health disabilities are the victims of bullying and gangs because they don’t understand the ramifications of their actions, so they’re led into doing something that gets them in trouble, then find themselves on the verge of a juvenile justice system they really don’t need to be in. COPE Court is a preventative court to provide the family with some resources (psychological assessments, counseling, mentoring, parent coach) to help deal with the challenges so their kids don’t go into the juvenile system.”
Kids are the future. Kids need help, support, and love. Ripples of Hope for Children does that. Ben & Jerry’s has committed to many causes (Hubby Hubby, anyone?), and I think their commitment to impacting individuals and small and large groups is absolutely phenomenal. I am so lucky to be involved with such great groups of people!