For the uninitiated, the duck race is an annual event where supporters of The Center adopt rubber ducks that will race along the Peoria Riverfront on August 24th.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may even win a pretty cool prize (see this link).  This year the goal is to have 30,000 ducks adopted, so we’re REALLY putting ourselves out there and hoping the community helps us reach that number.  In a few months, it will mark 4 years since I started working for The Center, which has been an absolute honor.  Most of the community recognizes The Center for their work in domestic violence by providing shelter to battered women, and that’s certainly true, however The Center does so much more than most realize.  We are the ONLY agency in Illinois that provides the breadth of services that includes support for victims of elder abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence.  We also have a presence in the courthouses by providing orders of protection as well as programs for perpetrators of abuse.  Finally, we have a growing prevention education department which includes anti-bullying programs that reach schools in Tazewell, Woodford and Peoria counties.

I was recently reminded how far we still have to go when it comes to issues like bullying.  A guy I was having a casual conversation with said he thought bullying was just a part of growing up…sort of a rite of passage and the media is just making a bigger deal out of it now.  However, the world we live in with technology, social media, etc has taken bullying to new levels where victims feel like threats are inescapable.  They face a barrage of physical and verbal abuse at school which is only continued once they leave school through text messages, Facebook, Twitter.  So no, it’s not OK for this to continue.  We need to change the culture of bullying being a part of growing up.  I know when I look back at my childhood I remember plenty of opportunities where I wish I would have stood up to bullying or was bullying others through action or inaction.  Let’s help gives kids the tools necessary to stand up to bullying and sway the tide, where standing up to bullies is the more attractive option for kids.  Think how powerful a moment it could be if just a few kids saw a kid being bullied and had the courage to stand up for them.  That act can impact a person’s complete outlook on life!

Here are some ways you can help

Adopt a duck for the annual duck race.  Here’s a link to adopt under my “team”


Share this post with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.  If you do this, please tag me in the post and I’ll adopt a duck in your name

Keep up to date with various events posted on our Facebook page

Want to help, but short on cash? You can volunteer and donate gently used items.

Do you like to run? Cool, come run the first ever 5k duck dash with me on August 17th along the Peoria Riverfront.  Oh, and if you do run, let me know and I’ll adopt a duck in your name too.