The two-foot-tall cardboard cutouts look a lot sillier than the children each cardboard "kid" represents. ChildSafe and the Children's Hospital of San Antonio are trying to raise awareness about high numbers of abused and neglected children in Bexar County through a new campaign called "Cardboard Kids."
In 2013 Bexar County was second in the state in terms of the number of victims of child abuse and neglect, according to Child Protective Services. At 5,846 children abused, Bexar had only 83 fewer incidents than Houston's Harris County, which has twice as many children living in it.
"San Antonio's a great city, but this is not a good top thing to have," said ChildSafe CEO Kim Abernethy.
Seventy of ChildSafe's partner organizations created the nearly 6,000 cardboard kids, but the kids aren't intended to be just an arts and crafts project. Childsafe hopes they provide a powerful visual aid on April 3, when they will be displayed across the city. People are asked to take a picture when they see them and post and share those photos via social media with the tag #cardboardkidSA.
"Imagine the impact of 5,846 cardboard kids all over town," said Cathy Siegel, development director for ChildSafe. "By the power of that voice and seeing that kid, people will get the message."
A QR code on each cardboard kid (on the back) links to Childsafe's website, where photos can be shared and resources are listed with statistics.