Monday, August 23, 2010

A Big Thanks to Our Golf Classics Sponsors!

As we gear up for our Villages' Golf Classic, on September 16th 2010, I would like to take a few minutes out of the preparation to thank our wonderful, generous sponsors! Without them, this event would truely never be possible. Here at The Villages, we deeply appreciate our sponsors continued support of our special children!!
Monroe Bank
Westport Homes
Baker and Daniels
Oak Motors
Katz, Sapper, Miller
Tim & Chris Franson
Rhonda Breman
Sharp Business Systems Indiana
Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP
Gene and Sharon Sponseller
Dealers Wholesale
Stoeppelwerth & Associates, Inc.
MBAH Insurance
Crosser Family Foundation
Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson PC
Zink Distributing Company
Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle, LLP
postlethwait Family
Classic Concrete
Rain Flow Gutters
Kinder Electric Co., Inc.
Weber Concrete Construction
Kerman's Fine Flooring
Kreig Devault
Steve Pierce
Electric Contracting Services, Inc.
Advantage Health Solutions, Inc.
City Securities

Thanks again to these wonderful sponsors!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Blind Side

By Taryn Stark and Maggy McDaniel

This story is not fictitious. Michael Oher was an abused and neglected child in Tennessee not too many years ago. Because the Tuohy family recognized his great need, the young Michael was able to spend the rest of his teenage years in a healthy and loving family. As a result of this, Michael lives a fulfilling life surrounded by love. To learn more about his story, please visit this link:

The reality is that there are countless children without homes, without families. The Villages of Indiana recognizes this sad fact, and has pledged to do something about it. We invite you to do the same.

IARCCA Executive Director, Cathy Graham, found “The Blind Side” to be a powerful inspiration: “The movie tells about the trust that develops and the challenges involved in merging two cultures, as well as the great gifts that both the family and the youth gained in the process of becoming family to one another. To see the resiliency of the young man, Michael Oher, who now plays professional football for the Baltimore Ravens, should continue to inspire the efforts of all of us who work with vulnerable youth. There are many more youth like Michael Oher in our communities; they just need a chance to have loving homes, adults who care about them and who will go the extra mile for them, and teachers and mentors who are committed to their success through the many challenges that youth face….Are we doing all that we can to help these vulnerable youth achieve success?”

The truth is that there are real kids in our state, our county that live without true homes. Our neighboring children, like Michael Oher, have never had a bed before, never experienced life as many of us have experienced it; as it should be experienced. The Villages is Indiana’s largest not-for-profit child and family services agency. As the month of April is Child Abuse Prevention month, we are committed to raising awareness of child maltreatment throughout Indiana and hopefully the world. If you are interested in getting involved with The Villages or learning more about our organization, please contact us:

Official Website:
Donation Link:
Personal Contact: 317.273.7575 or 800.874.6880

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cherishing Families...Affirming Families

By Sharon Pierce, President & CEO of The Villages

April marks Child Abuse Prevention month and this year’s theme is “CHERISHING CHILDREN…AFFIRMING FAMILIES!” In partnership with Prevent Child Abuse America, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana has “re-framed” Child Abuse Prevention Month to focus on the “promise” that the future and well being of EVERY child affords us.

This year, champions for children planted 1,000 Blue Pinwheels in the lawn at the Indiana State Museum to represent the number of children born in Indiana last year. Just one Pinwheel represents eighty-seven (87) live births…that’s 87,000 children born in 2009 that need to be cherished, safe, and nurtured!

Imagine the “human capital” that 87,000 Hoosiers who are nurtured in a family… healthy, well educated, and self sufficient can have in just a few years on our neighborhoods, our schools, our communities, our businesses, our government, and our State!

That is the essence of both the challenges and the opportunities which lay before us. But by CHERISHING CHILDREN AND AFFIRMING FAMILIES… by treasuring and protecting each child to acknowledge how truly valuable they are, our vision can become a REALITY! We celebrate the HOPE which these 87,000 new infants stand for…but we are also creating a legacy which will honor the children who tragically lost their lives to child abuse and neglect in Indiana last year.

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, a Division of The Villages, in collaboration with Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, has championed a THINK TANK of solution-minded community leaders and organizations who are working diligently to make supporting parents one of their highest priorities. The KIDS CAN’T WAIT initiative is a reminder to ALL of us that there is an urgent need for parental support and education for EVERY family.

Our collective message is a simple one… IT IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH, AS A PARENT OR CAREGIVER OF CHILDREN, TO ASK FOR HELP AND SUPPORT! WTHR has developed some new, dynamic public service announcements featuring several of our dedicated community leaders, which will air in the near future! Billboards reminding parents that sometimes WE are the ones who need a TIME OUT are placed throughout the city! Prevent Child Abuse Indiana operates a 1-800-CHILDREN line, to provide information for parents who are seeking a parent education class or a supportive service in their neighborhood. And for our technologically savvy parents, is available as a “starting point” for parent information.

Our hope and prayer is that EVERY Indiana citizen will become engaged in the lives of our Hoosier children…and cherish each child as if he or she were YOUR OWN!

I often share that being blessed to be the parent of four children is the most difficult job of ANY listed on my resume…but it’s also the most important! This April, and EACH MONTH throughout the year, we are imploring EVERY citizen in Indiana to CHERISH OUR CHILDREN…
To TREASURE Our Children…
To PROTECT Our Children…
To NURTURE Our Children…
To TEACH Our Children…
And to CELEBRATE Our Children!

There’s an urgency in Indiana to keep our children healthy, loved and safe!

How? Start with YOUR OWN CHILDREN…making them your Highest Priority! Embrace the child next door to you who seems hungry for affection! Reach out to a Grandparent who is heroically raising her grandchildren! Or help the child in your school or faith community who most needs it!

Why? As our beautiful children remind us…we need to be CHERISHING CHILDREN AND AFFIRMING FAMILIES…

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home Alone

by Taryn Stark and Maggy McDaniel

Home Alone is one of America’s most beloved movies. Children dream of having an opportunity to run the house by themselves, fight the bad guys and come out on top! Most parents, however, dread the thought of accidentally leaving their child behind and realizing it miles and miles above ground in a 747. Whether we grew up with the dazzling flick or watched our children grow up with it, Home Alone is definitely a household favorite.

The sad reality of this movie, however, is that it illustrates a form of child abuse: neglect. The Macalister family (from the movie) was responsible for 8 children, Kevin included. Because of their flurry to catch a plane on time, Kevin was left abandoned to fend for himself over the Christmas holidays. We all know, of course, that this is depicted as a huge mistake in the movie. The parents are horrified at their lapse and do everything that they can to get back to Kevin as soon as possible. The reality of child abuse, however, is much less forgiving.

Here is one example: A Central Indiana couple left their 2 year-old son alone in a van for 40 minutes on a bitter cold night. Police say the family shopped inside a supermarket, leaving the young boy locked inside the van, with the temperature outside just 16 degrees. This seems like a harmless act: leaving your kid in the car for a bit while you go grocery shopping. It is not harmless; its child abuse. Neglect is a common form of child abuse that generally goes unacknowledged. However, The Villages, along with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, know differently.

This example of child abuse illustrates why organizations like The Villages are so important to our society. Through our Healthy Families sector and Family Connection Network, adoptive, foster, and biological parents alike are trained and educated about the dangers of neglect. They are enlightened and encouraged in their journeys of parenthood. Just think: If the Macalister parents had gotten involved with an organization like The Villages, then they likely wouldn’t have left Kevin home alone. If you would like more information on The Villages, contact us at or 317.273.7575.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hell is for Children by Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

They cry in the dark, so you can't see their tears
They hide in the light, so you can't see their fears
Forgive and forget, all the while
Love and pain become one and the same
In the eyes of a wounded child

Because Hell

Hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell is for children
And you shouldn't have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh

It's all so confusing, this brutal abusing

They blacken your eyes, and then apologize
You're daddy's good girl, and don't tell mommy a thing
Be a good little boy, and you'll get a new toy
Tell grandma you fell off the swing

Because Hell

Hell is for children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell is for children
And you shouldn't have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh

No, Hell is for children

As the month of April is Child Abuse Prevention month, The Villages is committed to raising awareness of child maltreatment throughout Indiana and hopefully the world. If you are interested in getting involved with The Villages or learning more about our organization, please contact us:

Call: 800.874.6880 or 317.327.7575

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Matilda...everyone's favorite little girl!

by Taryn Stark and Maggy McDaniel

Whether we fell in love with Matilda as parents watching the movie with our children, or as children ourselves, most of us love the little girl! She is innovative and driven, intelligent and compassionate. Who wouldn’t love such a well-behaved and devoted daughter? Matilda, however, is an exception to the rule. Raised in an indifferent and clearly unloving family, Matilda proves to be an exception to the rule of an abused and neglected child. In 2007, 80% of 21 year-olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder (more details found here: Though this statistic is bleak, it does reflect the reality of the world in which we live.

Child abuse is not solely defined as physically harming one’s child, as many people today are inclined to believe. Child maltreatment is illustrated in a number of different ways, some of which include neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse or emotional abuse and are all produced as a result of acts or omissions of acts by parents or caregivers.

At The Villages, we strive to not only lower the unfortunate reality of child abuse, but also to eliminate it all together. We believe that one-on-one personal devotion and love are the most positively influential things that a child can receive. Our vision is that every child we serve will flourish in a healthy, nurturing self-sufficient family. We hold that this kind of love and affection can be found most abundantly through foster-care and adoption, not institutions. As such, we are dedicated to servicing Indiana’s children to the best of our ability.

As the month of April is Child Abuse Prevention month, we are committed to raising awareness of child maltreatment throughout Indiana and hopefully the world. If you are interested in getting involved with The Villages or learning more about our organization, please contact us:
Donated Online
Phone: 317.273.7575 or 800.874.6880

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Super Bowl time for our Champions

The Super Colts are in the Super Bowl, and we at The Villages couldn’t be more excited! For the past several years, the Indianapolis Colts have generously supported The Villages’ life-changing. From summer camp scholarships to filming our PSA…the Colts have proven to be true Champions for Children!

Indianapolis Colts former head coach, Tony Dungy, and current head coach, Jim Caldwell, have helped spread the word about The Villages by acting as a spokes person in our commercials and public service announcements. Both coaches encouraged families to open their hearts and homes to Villages’ child and become foster parents…by joining a team of champions.

Coach Tony Dungy poses for a picture with The Villages children after filming the 2007 commerical.

Coach Jim Caldwell brings The Villages children in for a post commerical huddle

In the summer of 2009, Villages’ children received camperships to attend Indianapolis Colts Defensive End, Dwight Freeney’s football camp. This three day long camp gave the children the opportunity to hone their football skills, interact with Dwight Freeney and meet some of Freeney’s Colts team mates, including Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark. The children learned important lesson that can be used on and off the field!

The Villages President and CEO, Sharon Pierce, and Director of Development, Katee Franson, gets their picture with Dwight Freeney at a post camp reception

Support from the Colts doesn’t end with the coaches and players. The Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization have sponsored The Villages golf tournament for the past two years. Their financial support enabled us to raise critical funds needed to support our services and program for children recovering from the painful childhood trauma of abuse and neglect.

On behalf of 1,400 children The Villages supports each and every day … we wish the Indianapolis Colts the best of luck on Sunday! We are honored to have you as partners and we thank you for being Champions for our Children!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Might Ducks, Mighty Villages

The Mighty Ducks is a phenomenal movie about joining together as a team of individuals. Some of you may know about this movie. At first, the kids are brought together as a group of individuals. Some of them had been on a Minnesota hockey team; others came in sporadically, hoping to join the clique of previous brothers. This proved to be both challenging and disheartening. Finally, the group of players was forced to truly join together as a new team. Yes, they were all individuals from different parts of the world, yet they were bonded through the USA team, through the Mighty Ducks team. This team, through all its up’s and down’s, through all its growth and hardships, is only able to succeed by coming together as a brotherhood. They can only become champions if they “fly together.”

photo courtesy of

In this same way, The Villages believes that we can all become champions for children if we come together. As Indiana’s largest accredited not-for-profit child and family services organization, we cannot do it by ourselves. We cannot change the world alone. Vulnerable children, children such as those who make up The Mighty Ducks, are in need throughout Indiana. We have recognized this need and are now calling on you to help us answer the need. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Together, we can do anything.

This month The Villages is hosting “Pack the House for Charity” night on February 28th. Tickets are on sale for $9.00, and $5.00 goes to Prevent Child Abuse Indiana. Last year, we raised over $12,000 for the children. Help us to raise even more this year! Visit our website at or call us at 800.874.6880.