National Day of Hope
Also known as
Childhelp Day of Hope
Childhelp National Day of Hope
the first Wednesday in April (since 1999)
Started by Childhelp (then known as Childhelp USA), a non-profit group that fights against child abuse, National Day of Hope "encourages people across the nation to take time to say a prayer and observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the children who die every day from abuse and neglect." After the day's creation, Congress passed a joint resolution in support of it. Beyond commending Childhelp for creating the day and supporting their goals for the day, the resolution said "all Americans should seek to break this cycle of abuse and neglect, and give your children hope for the future," and that "the faith community, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers across America should recommit themselves and mobilize their resources to assist these children." The day takes place during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Besides saying a prayer on the day and having a moment of silence, observants often light a five-wicked Childhelp candle, which symbolizes the almost five children that lose their lives each day from abuse and neglect in the United States. Lighting a candle also symbolizes the "burning commitment to ending abuse." There is a Congressional luncheon held each April near the date of the holiday that is hosted by Childhelp, where ideas are shared about how to prevent child abuse. It is attended by advocates, community members, and lawmakers.
How to Observe National Day of Hope
The day can be observed by saying a prayer, by having a moment of silence, or by lighting a candle. But, perhaps the best way to observe the day is to directly do your part to prevent child abuse and neglect. You could volunteer for or donate to Childhelp. You could also find out more ways to prevent child abuse and neglect by reading information provided by the United States government on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.