Bike rally to raise funds for Kids Hub

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kids Hub, a new non-profit that aims to provide services and assistance to children and their families dealing with abuse, is planning to hold a motorcycle rally that will begin in Hattiesburg and end at Friendship Park in Picayune.
The rally is set for April 18, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. at Hattiesburg Cycles in Hattiesburg, located at 6212 Highway 49. The ride is set to begin at 10 a.m. that morning.
That day’s route will follow Interstate 59 south towards Picayune, where it will then head towards Friendship Park, said Kids Hub Executive Director Didi Ellis.
Participants are asked to pay $20 per bike and bring a teddy bear, which will be given to children who come to the soon to be opened center where they will help provide forensic interviews.
“The teddy bear is a simple little comfort item these kids can use to make them feel better,” Ellis said.
Ellis said troopers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol will escort the ride, and she has reached out to law enforcement agencies in the seven counties that Kids Hub will provide services, including Pearl River, Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence and Covington to see if they can participate.
Picayune’s Exchange Club is helping organize the event by securing food vendors, door prizes and organizing the 50/50 raffle.
All proceeds will go towards establishing a central office for the child advocacy group in Hattiesburg, which will act as a comfortable place where children suffering from abuse can share their story through forensic interviews.
Not only will the advocacy group work as a location to conduct the interviews, but they will also provide assistance to family members not invovled with the alleged abuse. Other services include ensuring the family and child receive the medical and psychological services they need, such as helping them set up appointments for those services, and removing any barriers that would prevent the family from accessing assistance.
Additionally, the group aims to help victims understand the complexity of the legal system.
To educate the public about child abuse, Kids Hub plans to hold community events, provide programs to local schools and provide information to help people identify the signs of child abuse.
“In order to really address the child abuse problem we need to have a proactive approach to educate people about what child abuse is,” Ellis said.
If all goes well, Kids Hub hopes to open their Hattiesburg office sometime in August of this year.

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