Nonprofit helps abused and neglected children through wilderness retreat
GADSDEN, Ala. —
1,500 to 3,000 children die in the United States every year from child abuse and neglect, according to the commission to eliminate child abuse and neglect.
Without help those who survive child abuse and neglect are often left with emotional scars that can impact the rest of their lives.
And that's why a local group is offering a unique way to help children who have suffered so much.
They say "life isn't fair" and, if that's true, it's downright insurmountable for young people whose childhood was stolen through abuse and neglect.
So, every year the nonprofit On River Time rewards a group of teenagers at Big Oak Ranch in Gadsden and Still Creek Ranch in Bryant, Texas for the progress they've made at their respective camps.
The idea is to get kids away from distraction and be immersed in nature, so they can face their demons without distraction and without judgement.
In the great outdoors, the children often open up and share their stories while getting support from those who can relate first hand.
Co-founder, Steve Davis, says it was time in nature that helped heal his own wounds, fly fishing on Snake River.
"As a survivor of abuse myself, I've dealt with a lot of demons on that river," added co-founder David Roberts.
One of the best parts of the experience, kids get the chance to be kids again.
The organization says it's about using the right people, place, and the "on river time" program to brighten the future of children who, at one point, were left in the dark.