Give Local

With Thanksgiving coming up, we think of our blessings and how we can better help those in need. As you consider what you can do to give back for all you’ve been given, consider giving local. By giving local, you’re ensuring your gift has an immediate impact on your neighbors and friends.

CAPSA development director, James Boyd created a flyer to learn how to give local and how to use your tax write-offs or estate planning to give local, but another good way to give local is to follow non-profits on social media. Often, the most pressing needs are expressed through this outlet.

Planned Giving Flyer

CAPSA Facebook | Stokes Nature Center Facebook | Cache Education Foundation Facebook | Cache Community Food Pantry Facebook | Common Ground Outdoor Adventures Facebook | Four Paws Rescue Facebook | The Family Place Facebook | Cache Valley Veterans Association Facebook | Little Lambs Foundation for Kids Facebook

An interview with NUVPEC chair, Ana Hernandez

Most of us probably haven’t heard of NUVPEC, but it stands for the Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition. To learn more about it, I interviewed the coalition chair, Ana Hernandez.

Q. Can you tell me the history of NUVPEC – when and how it was started?

A. In 2009, CAPSA’s prevention department completed a curriculum for male and female peer-to-peer discussion groups. At that time, CAPSA employees felt it was important to create a coalition.  It was called the Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition in order to address prevention efforts at the community level.

Our mission as a coalition is to reduce the incidences of sexual violence among youth in Cache County. The Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition aims to provide professional, respectful, sensitive and age appropriate prevention education to youth of all ages. NUVPEC will unite to implement developmental assets with an emphasis on positive values, social competencies and positive identities to help our future generations establish healthy, responsible and caring relationships.

Q. Who’s involved in NUVPEC?

A. Several organizations sit on NUVPEC: The Family Place, Alpha Chi Omega, the Logan Police Department, the Cache County’s Sheriff’s Office, Utah State University, Cache Makers, Pregnancy for Choices, the Department for Children and Family Services, Utah State’s Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office, Intermountain Healthcare, the Bear River Health Department and concerned citizens.

Q. What is NUVPEC doing in our community – what are the positive results you can point to from the program?

A. We hope that we are making a difference by raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence within our youth. Currently, we have several projects in the works.

Upstanding Youth Leadership Conference: Hosted at Utah State University on December 2, we have worked tirelessly with the Utah State Health Department and CAPSA to put this conference together. It is targeted specifically for Cache and Rich youth leaders, and we are hoping that by providing training by Marty Liccardo and other helpful workshops youth will be able to go back to their respective communities and teach their peers about making a difference and changing social norms.

Media Contest: Every year from January to the end of February the state of Utah holds a Media contest surrounding healthy relationships. This contest is for students, and NUVPEC participates by informing all the Middle and High School students about the contest and its theme.

Safe Dates: We partner with the Logan Police Department and the Fun Park to create an environment for youth to have fun while gaining an understanding of how to stay safe on a date and what to do if you feel uncomfortable at any portion of a night out.

Q. How are youth involved in NUVPEC?

A. NUVPEC raises awareness and holds events specifically for our youth. Members of the CAPSA Youth Council also help educate their peers with a member of NUVPEC.

Q. How does NUVPEC inspire and create youth leaders?

A. I hope that by making a difference the youth can see that they too can make a difference. A lot of times youth, and even adults, feel that in order to make a difference they have to be labeled as a leader. However, you do not have to be in any type of position (although it can be helpful) to make a difference and rise to inspire and be a leader.

Q. What have you learned from chairing NUVPEC?

A. When I started, I met with each member individually and listened to their concerns, ideas, and successes with the intention of making the coalition better. So far, I have been able to include more members from our community. I am also reaching out to the Latino community in hopes of bringing awareness to them,as well. I realize that although I am not perfect, I have learned that by showing others that I am human, that I care and that I am there to help them make a difference we become more united and are able to achieve more.

Q. What are the long-term goals of NUVPEC?

A. I want to continue inspiring youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. I also want to reach out to more community organizations and involve them in order to bring more awareness to families, and specifically youth.

#MeToo

By now, I hope you’ve heard of the #MeToo social media campaign. It was started by Alyssa Milano on Sunday, October 15, as a way to show all of us how prevalent sexual assault and sexual harassment are.

Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” She then shared a photo which read, “Me too. Suggested by a friend: ‘If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote, ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.'”

Personally, I think that goal has been accomplished. My co-workers, family members, neighbors, friends and casual acquaintances have found their voice, and stated, “Me too!”

One post I found most interesting came from a local clergy member in Cache Valley. He shared an article written by a female pastor in California. This pastor, Jennifer, told the stories of her colleagues who have been harassed in church, some have been harassed by congregation members and others have been harassed by congregation leaders. It was a reminder to me that, unfortunately, sexual assault and domestic violence happen everywhere.

Maybe along with declaring, “Me too,” we should stand up to say, “Here too!” It happens in our churches. It happens in our schools. It happens at parties. It happens at work. Unfortunately, it may feel like there is no safe place to turn to, because everywhere people are being assaulted. But I don’t want you to feel unsafe. Even if it is Halloween in a week, I don’t want you constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when something bad will happen. Instead, I want you to first, recognize it happens everywhere, and it’s not your fault. If you’ve been abused, please don’t add to your pain by retracing your steps and just thinking if I hadn’t have gone there… If I hadn’t gone to that party, if I hadn’t gone to his apartment, if I hadn’t gone on that date… It happens everywhere. You are not at fault. There are people who believe you, hear you and care about you. Seek help, and find peace.

Second, I want you to recognize it happens everywhere! If something looks or feels out of place and inappropriate, it definitely might be. Don’t just think because you’re at church, at school, at work or at a friends house that you’re safe. Logan is not a big city. It is a generally safe town, but Logan and Cache Valley are not immune to violence. Please don’t be nervous to walk outside your front doors, but please don’t be oblivious to people’s safety, and don’t just assume we’re safe because we’re in Logan or we’re with friends or we’re at a university sanctioned event. Unfortunately, abuse happens everywhere. It happens in our homes, which seem like they should be the safest places possible. For this reason, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on signs of violence, and realize how we can stand up for those who we think might be in danger. In that vein, Loveisrespect.org has warning signs and resources for helping a child, a co-worker, a friend, an acquaintance, etc. utilize these resources, and help stop abuse.

#MeToo showed us the prevalence of sexual assault within our communities. Hopefully, thinking about #HereToo can help us realize our role in both not blaming victims of abuse, and helping those in need. Abuse happens everywhere, but kindness and hope are kindled everywhere as well.

Thank you to all who have supported CAPSA.

Dine out for CAPSA in October

Monday’s in October, you can support CAPSA by dining at the following restaurants. Enjoy good food for a good cause!