Emily Rappe is with The Children's Advocacy Center Of Benton County, a group working to give victims of abuse a voice and to help them heal. This weekend CAC is taking to the sky for its annual Skydive For Kids fundraiser. Rappe says, "This year we have about 47 jumpers and I have about half of them going on Saturday and half on Sunday."
For Julie Grant this is a very special event. Not only is she a past participant, she's a survivor of child abuse and one of those skydiving to raise money and awareness. Grant describes skydiving by saying, "It was just a really neat experience to feel safe and be able to do something that was scary. It just sort of represented a lot of what we as victims go through learning to trust people and step into scary situations and do things that are scary." I wanted to support CAC and people just like Julie, people who, in her words, are learning to live as victors and not victims, so I decided to suit up and put my trust in my new friends at The Skydive Skyranch. After some paper work, a safety lesson, and lots of prayers it was time to go up and jump out of a plane thousands of feet above the ground. Within a matter of seconds, I experienced everything from fear to pure joy. A moment of victory and inspiration all at once. It's a feeling those working with the CAC hope to give to others - working to get past a troubling time. Julie Grant says to remember, "It's never to late. You can always deal with the inner child that was abused. The CAC is a safe place and there are wonderful consolers throughout Northwest Arkansas. You can go back and realize that things that happened to you are not your fault."
You can support the CAC by making a donation. Just click here. You can also show up Saturday and Sunday to watch and cheer on all those raising money for the great group! And a special thanks to Hoyt Perry and friends from The Skydive Skyranch.