“Love begins at home and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into that action.” – Mother Teresa
CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) knows all about that. They are there for abused children. Today was their sixth Fostering Love event. That is in addition to the CALM Authors luncheon in March. A record crowd gathered at the Biltmore Coral Casino to raise funds. The committee was chair Stephanie Sokolove and Sherri Ball, Pati Clark, Bobbi Didier, Lori Lander Goodman, Jeannette Hahn, Susan Henry, Adele Laufer, Ashlyn McCague, Fiona Stone, and Sara Wilcox.
During lunch, CEO/executive director Alana Walezak explained CALM’s mission. “To prevent childhood trauma, heal children and families, and build resilient communities throughout Santa Barbara County.” She told us they are now partnering with pediatricians who see abuse.
Emcee Catherine Remak introduced the passion speaker Tyler Speier, who told his family story of a foster baby he and his wife brought home. When asked, “What is your purpose?” his response was, “What breaks your heart.” The baby had been exposed to drugs, homelessness, and had only a diaper on. She had nightmares. He and his wife were in way over their heads, so they went to CALM. It didn’t solve everything but they had a support team. Tyler thought the baby had a broken heart – and he and his wife helped to heal it.
The inspirational speakers were Dr. Laura Ciel and Bill Poett. They joked that they only had 15 minutes to fix all of us on a path to inner peace. As they say in their manifesto, “Now is the time to stop pointing fingers, stand in our power, and take responsibility for our contribution to the state of our existence. Every word and every action you take going forward has the power to change the world for the better.”
Some of the challenges the kids face are 66% separation from caregivers, 82% child mistreatment, 63% family problems, 10% prenatal substance exposure, and 58% trauma exposure (life-threatening experience). It’s hard to imagine lives like that.
If you’d like to make a difference in the life of a child, contact the Santa Barbara CALM office at 1236 Chapala Street, phone (805) 965-2376.