Personal success should be based on what we give, not what we get.
That sentiment, shared by motivational speaker Rex Crain, resonated with attendees of the Orange County Family Justice Center’s Celebration of Strength breakfast, held Oct. 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The event served as a fundraiser for the OC Family Justice Center, an Anaheim-based collaboration of 17 agencies and nonprofits that provides resources to victims of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and dependent adult abuse.
The Anaheim Police Department is an integral part of the collaboration. Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros, Deputy Chief Julian Harvey, and other APD top brass were among the roughly 250 in attendance.
“What I’m loving about the Justice Center is that it is not just an organization that is big and based on support and helps you through recovery, but (that it also gives) you the tools and the strength so the past does not have to replay into the future, and that history does not have to equal destiny, and that things can radically change,” said Crain, an author and life coach. “But for any of that (to happen), it takes people with heroic hearts and minds.”
There are examples throughout history of ordinary people with the imagination and extraordinary commitment that made a huge difference, Crain said.
“Today, I hope that you see in this room…the meaning and hope that comes from having a vision bigger than ourselves,” he said. “I think we all know that to base your life on what you get is to lose in this game called life.”
Every year, the OC Family Justice Center identifies youth who have participated in the non-profit’s programs and gives them each a backpack filled with school supplies and buys them clothes for the new school year.
The center also gives bags filled with Christmas gifts to its young clients every holiday season.
Through the center’s 10-week Kids Creating Change program, youngsters ages 5 to 11 are taught skills to lead non-violent, healthy lives by covering topics such as conflict resolution, bullying, self-esteem and anger management.
When Crain visited the Family Justice Center with Executive Director Tracy Theodore, he observed a woman – a victim of domestic violence — come into the center with her children.
He watched a detective comfort her and another officer reach out and embrace her.
Crain said he also was approached and embraced by four children who had recently been removed from a home.
“I watched heroes truly at work,” Crain said. “I thought, what an incredible organization that brings vision and hope to our community.”
In addition to help from law enforcement, services offered by the Family Justice Center include legal representation and a variety of social services.
Violence within communities and schools typically begins at home, Theodore said.
A child who is raised in a home with violence is more apt to be a perpetrator of violence of a victim of violence in the future, she said.
“Family violence is a cycle that is very often learned,” Theodore said. “We know that if it can be learned, it can be unlearned. Often, fear and society’s judgment keeps victims captive in their violent situation and locked in silence. It’s time to elevate the conversation and give hope to the hopeless.”
The OC Family Justice Center hosted a resource fair on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the center’s headquarters at 150 W. Vermont Ave., Anaheim. The purpose of the fair was to make the community better aware of the Justice Center’s services and connect them directly with services. Agencies and nonprofits that partner with the Family Justice Center were on hand, including the LGBTQ Center, Fair Housing OC, Didi Hirsch (suicide prevention), Mexican Consulate, Child Support, Child Abuse Prevention Center, My Safe Harbor, Anaheim PD from the Traffic Safety Department, just to name a few. Stay tuned for coverage of that event on BehindTheBadge.com. For more information about the OC Family Justice Center, visit ocfjcfoundation.org