What the Blue Ribbon Stands For?

Blue Ribbon 2016

The blue ribbon has been widely recognized as a national symbol of child abuse prevention. Here in Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) receives more than 75,000 reports on children each year.

The Exchange Club of Greater Newburyport has placed Blue Ribbons on light posts in downtown Newburyport. The blue ribbons are in support of children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect. The blue ribbon is a positive symbol of the need to do one’s best when it comes to children and families.


National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families. During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and activities and promote prevention across the country.

Exchange Club of Greater Newburyport is doing a couple of things….

  • Distributing Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE) that were collected in March, to give these children a little joy during these troubling times to local Police and Fire to have in their vehicles. The Police and Fire Departments use the stuffed animals to ease the children’s nerves and calm their fears.  These donations let the children know you care and give them hope in a world that at times seems so very cold.
  • For two weeks there will be large Blue Ribbons hanging for the light poles in downtown Newburyport.
  • Making a contribution to the Michael B. Christensen Community and Family Support Center. The Michael B. Christensen Community and Family Support Center (CFSC) is a child abuse prevention and family education center that has 9 programs within.  Our programs, in one manner or another, focus on parent and early childhood education. We work towards 5 major goals: increasing parental and child resiliency, helping develop a support network and concrete supports in time of need, helping parents understand child development while teaching effective parenting skills and developing social and emotional competency in all family members.  Our programs also focus on community education and collaboration.  We have several community partners located throughout the Merrimack Valley and Essex County.




The Holidays are upon us…..

7 Ways Your Kids Can Appreciate the

True Meaning of the Holiday Season …

How do we teach our kids the true meaning of the holiday season when all they can think about is Santa bringing them gifts on Christmas morning? Every year it feels like Christmas is being more commercialized, especially now with certain stores opening on Thanksgiving. So, perhaps we can teach not only our children about the true meaning of the holiday season, but these stores as well!


A great way to teach your kids the true meaning of the holiday season is to volunteer together as a family. Show them how they can help the less fortunate who don’t have gifts or food to celebrate the holidays. You can also send care packages to troops who won’t be able to come home for Christmas to share the festivities with their loved ones.


The holiday season is different for everyone and not all who celebrate are religious. However, no matter what religion or holiday you honor, one way to really show your kids the true meaning is to enjoy it together as a family. Start new traditions of baking cookies, walking around town to #look at the holiday decor, and gather together with grandparents, in-laws, and aunts and uncles to cherish what you really have.


If your little ones only know about one holiday during this time of year and believe that Santa is the reason for celebrating Christmas, teach them about the history of each holiday, including their own. Visit your library to #read about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, go to a church service on Christmas eve, or ask a friend or neighbor who celebrates another holiday to show your kids what it’s all about.


It’s always nice to be able to have the opportunity to spoil our kids when we can, but that isn’t a good way to show them what the holiday season really means. Get them things they need, and only buy them one really special gift this year instead of ten just because you want to keep up with the Joneses! They will appreciate this one gift much more than if you were to spoil them.


If you have teens or older children who will understand, perhaps this year instead of buying gifts for each other, you can buy gifts for children who are sick instead. Don’t just drop a gift in a box that will be donated by someone else, show your kids how much this gift really means to these children by visiting them yourselves. Always be sure to call ahead to your local Children’s Hospital before visiting.


To really show your kids that the holiday season isn’t about gift giving and shopping, make it a rule this year to give handmade gifts only. You can make each other adorable ornaments, such as those at diy.allwomenstalk.com; repurpose items you already have, seen at lifestyle.allwomenstalk.com; or put together a craft of their favorite animal, as shown here:diy.allwomenstalk.com. Handmade gifts come from the heart and can really show your kids how this gift means so much more than one purchased at the store.


Don’t make the holiday season the only #time to be thankful, make it a point to volunteer and help others year round. Show your kids that #people are in need every day and not just during this time of year. You can also do #things in your own home, like sharing what you’re thankful for every day at dinner, hosting a food drive, or donating clothes and toys that aren’t being used.

by: Diana Trotter