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Although child abuse had received some media and political attention already, Sara and Yvonne were determined to continue the fight against child abuse. Every time they were able to look into the eyes of a child the organization saved, it was only a reminder of all the other children that still needed their help. With this continual dedication, the Children’s Village USA launched its first national campaign for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Later in the year, the first national toll-free hotline, 1-800-4-A-Child, was implemented by Children’s Village USA. The hotline still operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers a wide variety of support resources from professional crisis counselors.

The addition of the hotline was a huge step forward for the Children’s Village USA, as it gave the organization the ability to help children across the country.

The organization continued to find ways to reach children across the nation, including “Child Abuse and You,” a brochure on how to recognize and report child abuse. The brochure was published and distributed nationally along with five educational child abuse booklets targeted to teens and pre-teens were published and circulated to high schools and junior high schools coast-to-coast, including a comic book about child abuse.

To continue their international reach, Children’s Village USA also co-sponsored an International Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect with NATO in France.

1983

Children’s Village USA’s name is changed to Childhelp to focus on the national programs, and Childhelp International is introduced for international activities. Membership of the International Union for Child Welfare (Childhelp Co-Founders were board members) enables the organization to share expertise with child abuse agencies around the world.

Childhelp establishes the International Alliance on Child Abuse and Neglect, a huge step in helping child abuse on an international level.

Due to their dedication and success thus far, Sara and Yvonne received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Award.

They were awarded for leadership in the prevention, treatment and research of child abuse and neglect, nationally and internationally.

President Ronald Reagan changed National Child Abuse Prevention Month to be April, and to this day, April has continued to be the month in which we recognize it.

1984
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Childhelp produces and airs a national telethon on child abuse,

Will We Hear Their Cry?

1985

Childhelp celebrates the opening of its western regional office. It housed the national toll-free hotline and a family evaluation program that provides a complete psycho-social assessment for abused children and their families.

1986

Childhelp continues to grow with the addition of a village after-care program designed to serve children discharged from the village who still require additional support to complete the healing process.

1987

Childhelp opened the first group homes in Orange County, California. Sara and Yvonne worked closely in conjunction with the Department of Children’s Services to create the correct environment to allow the children to heal.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Excellence for Individual Achievement Award from the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge.

The founders were given citations from Pope John Paul for “recognition of the dedication to the loving care and commitment to protection of abused children in the world.”The ladies were extremely honored to be recognized by the Pope, and were thrilled by the attention and recognition this would bring to the cause.

1988
Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Crime Victims Week Department of Justice Award,presented by President Ronald Reagan.

1989
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Childhelp celebrates its 30th Anniversary for providing direct services to children!

Plans are formulated for an International Research Center to bridge the gap between research and practice. Sara O’Meara is presented with an award by the Queen of England for her work in international collaboration to prevent child abuse.

A specialized foster care program to train Childhelp foster parents is established to ensure that children have successful and bright futures after being placed in a foster home. The program continues to grow throughout the beginning of the 1990’s.

1990
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Due to the success of the hotline, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline expands, adding a computerized telephone system capable of handling up to 5 million calls a year!

1991

Childhelp purchases 270-acres of land in Culpeper, Virginia as the site for the new East Coast Village. Childhelp celebrated the groundbreaking of this new residential treatment facility bearing the name of its major benefactor, Alice C. Tyler.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Kiwanis World Service Medal for their hard work and dedication to making the world a better place.

1992

Childhelp continues to expand its reach by launching the Adult Survivor Program, an on-going therapy and support program for those who have survived abuse.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Women Who Make a Difference: Women of the Year Award from Family Circle Magazine.

1993

Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp East opens in Lignum, Virginia.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the National Caring Award from the National Caring Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Hubert Humphrey Memorial Award from the Touchdown Club of Washington, D.C.

1994

Childhelp Southern Region Office of Knoxville, Tennessee opens its offices with the goal of breaking ground for a children’s advocacy center. This one-stop center for interviewing victims of sexual abuse was one of the first of its kind. The grand opening for the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center was held the following year.

1996
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Childhelp leads the Stand for Children march in Washington, D.C.

Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan opens in Manhattan, New York.

1997

Childhelp continues its national growth with 110-acres of land in the Smoky Mountains becomes home to the foster care program in East Tennessee. The Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp East also opens a new school and an additional cottage, housing 16 more children.

1998
The grand opening and dedication of the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona is held in November. The advocacy center for children wins the Juvenile Justice Best Practice Award.

Group homes open in Orange County, California.

1999

Grand openings are held for the children’s activity centers at the Village of Childhelp West in Beaumont, California and the Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp East in Lignum, Virginia.

2000

Merv Griffin announces the donation of the internationally-famous Merv Griffin’s Wickenburg Inn and Dude Ranch to Childhelp. The 192-acre property is located within a 4,700-acre private preserve 70 miles northwest of Phoenix. The facility was named, Childhelp Merv Griffin Village of Arizona.

The U.S. House of Representatives passes House Concurrent Resolution 76 with a unanimous vote, supporting the Childhelp National Day of Hope. The National Day of Hope is reserved for 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.

2001

The 6,000-square foot Batavia Learning Center opens for the residents of the Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp East in Virginia.

Childhelp USA opens its first mobile children’s advocacy center in Tennessee. The advocacy center is the first of its kind in the United States.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Charity Awards Committee in Washington D.C. The founders were nominated due to their continuous contributions in child abuse prevention.

2002
Childhelp celebrates the opening of two additional facilities, the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village of Arizona, as well as the Childhelp Children’s Center of Virginia, an advocacy center for children

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson continue to receive recognition for their hard work with the Champions of Children Award from the National Children’s Alliance.

2003

Childhelp USA Children’s Mobile Advocacy Center begins services in northern Arizona. The center provides relief and refers treatment options to abused and neglected children.

2004
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Silence Broken, the story of Childhelp’s beginning written by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, is published.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Arizona Foundation of Women’s Sandra Day O’Connor Award. The founders were recognized for touching the lives of women and children.

2005
Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Childhelp opens a therapeutic foster care program in Michigan for abused and neglected children.

Childhelp USA holds their inaugural Drive the Dream Gala in conjunction with the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, becoming the organization’s largest annual fundraiser.

2006

Lifetime Television debuts the movie For the Love of a Child, the story of Sara and Yvonne and Childhelp’s early days in Japan and Vietnam. The film was ranked the number one show by Nielsen Media Research.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson are nominated a second time for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Childhelp initiates legislation to authorize the establishment of a national registry following child abusers from state to state. The registry is enacted by President George W. Bush.

Childhelp expands its foster care programs in Tennessee and California.

2007
Childhelp celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Childhelp opens the Childhelp River Bridge Advocacy Center in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. , serving Colorado communities.

Childhelp launches a Childhelp Alert System which proactively notifies subscribers when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson are nominated a third time for the Nobel Peace Prize.

2008
Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Clarins 2008 Most Dynamic Woman Award by Clarins USA.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson are nominated a fourth time for the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009
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Childhelp celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a celebration concert at the Warner Theatre.

The concert featured multiple Grammy award winning singer/songwriter David Foster and other special guests. This event was recorded by BET.

Childhelp Co-Founders win Health and Human Services award celebrating their lifetime commitment to child safety.

2010
At the Governor’s Convention, Childhelp spearheads successful anti-abuse legislation. In an unprecedented show of bipartisan support, each governor from every state in the Union signs the Governor’s Resolution to Eradicate Child Abuse.

The Childhelp Celebrity Golf Invitational is launched and becomes an annual fundraising event hosted by actors Cheryl Ladd and John O’Hurley.

2011

Childhelp Co-Founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson are nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Childhelp is awarded the U.S. Department of Education Grant to completely revamp the “Good Touch, Bad Touch” prevention education program to address up-to-the-minute concerns such as Internet predators and bullying.

Florida becomes the first state to mandate prevention education in every school in the entire state (over 400 school districts). Out of many possible options, the well-researched Childhelp “Speak Up, Be Safe!” curriculum is chosen as the official prevention education program for Florida.

Childhelp receives a critical voice on Governor Jan Brewer’s Arizona Child Safety Task Force with the appointment of Childhelp’s Vice President of Prevention Programs. The task force brings together 19 experts in the field and is tasked with developing a plan for child safety reform in Arizona.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson win the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award in Washington D.C.

Childhelp partners with development teams at Arizona State University to create Childhelp “Speak Up Be Safe!” The new program offers a 21st century approach to the prevention of abuse by utilizing web-based tools, curriculum on Internet safety skills and cyber-bullying. Curriculum, materials and training capsules are launched to schools throughout the country, promoting a redirected focus on adult responsibility and skill building in keeping our children safe.

Childhelp Co-Founders are nominated a fifth time for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson receive the Global Women’s Summit Humanitarian Award.

2012
Childhelp wins the North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit of The Year Award.

Childhelp launches a new “Speak Up Be Safe!” prevention program for Athletes on Child Abuse as a response to abuse in youth athletics. This lifesaving educational curriculum was underwritten by Olympic consultants, The Foundation for Global Sports Development.

2013
Sara and Yvonne are awarded the Torch 1975, Inc. Nonprofit Certificate of Recognition in honor of “Outstanding, dedicated, diligent and inspirational service to orphans and children of the Vietnam War.”

Sara and Yvonne are awarded honorary doctorates from Northcentral University.

Today

Childhelp remains true to their vision. The internationally respected nonprofit is the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect as well as at-risk children. Though it has grown beyond their wildest dreams, CEO and Chairman, Sara O’Meara, and President, Yvonne Fedderson, who still work every day for this critical cause, have never forgotten those eleven little orphans in a storm that inspired their mission of hope.

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