Children in trouble need more voices

North Carolina needs more activism on behalf of disadvantaged and vulnerable children, advocates said Monday at the annual fundraising lunch for the Council for Children's Rights.

Sara Holderness, president-elect of the council's board, told about 1,000 people gathered at the Charlotte Convention Center that at least 29,000 children in North Carolina are victims of abuse and neglect. More than 3,000 are waiting for adoption, she added, enough to fill 34 buses.

“We can do better,” she said. “We must, as a community, do better.”

She echoed a call from Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, an author and children's rights activist, for civic leaders to focus more sharply on children's needs.

Brett Loftis, executive director of the Charlotte-based group, urged attendees to ask tough questions of the political candidates who attended the lunch.

“Every child in this community deserves a chance,” he said. “Every child in this community needs to expect that someone will look them in the eye and say, ‘You are important.'” Eric Frazier