401-Kids Child Abuse Foundation
The police department receives a call that a child is suspected of abuse. The officer arrives at the child’s home and contacts the parents or residents. Through the officer’s investigation he or she believes that in fact the child is being abused. The officer, by state law, takes the child from the home and delivers them to a child advocacy center or a hospital emergency room so medical staff can confirm their suspicion that abuse has taken place. During the examination the officer would show some compassion and love toward the child by giving them a needed friend. A friend, a teddy bear the child could hold on to tight during this scary time in their life. The officer would visit with the child for a short while building a little positive contact between police officer and child.
How We Help
Often the child or children arrive at the hospital or advocacy center filthy beyond our wildest imaginations. They are so dirty and lice ridden that the only thing to be done is to incinerate their clothes. 401-Kids’ mission is to provide these children with new clean sweatshirts and pants, underclothes, socks, slippers and a teddy bear. The new clothes and teddy bear will be their first step in the healing process.
Help us achieve success
We are working toward providing a place of safety where the child can be taken once they are removed from their home. This friendly and loving environment will be where the child will live while they are being evaluated and treated for the abuse. A place where they can catch their breath till a suitable loving home can be found for them to continue the healing process.
In addition we would like to sponsor programs of education to the law enforcement and medical community on child abuse. These programs will give the participants the tools to spot child abuse and take proper legal action to intervene and stop the cycle of abuse.
401-Kids Board Members
Retired Officer, Radio Personality
Law Enforcement Officer
Wife, Mother and Activist
Sheriff Jim Weir
Grady County, Oklahoma
Public Relations Officer, Grady County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Clint Thompson
Retired, UHAPD Police Department, BS, MA
Our 501c3 public foundation was formed in 1999 by four Oklahoma police officers. For years these officers dealt with child abuse and neglect almost on a daily basis. Because they were having their hearts broken each and every time they were sent to investigate these crimes, they decided to take a stand.
Through their Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, now defunct, they purchased quality teddy bears to be given to each abused child they came in contact with. Many of the children were being brought to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for treatment and evidence collection. Within the first year this FOP Lodge gave out over 800 teddy bears to these children. It was not long before it was apparent the Lodge would go broke. For this reason the officers, with the help of the IRS, formed 401Kids Inc.
Soon as the word was spread through the 401Kids.org web site, donations started trickling in. These funds were used to continue the teddy bear program. The teddy bear program ended when politics within State and private sector, dissolved the State ownership of the hospitals and the University Hospital Police. Even through these four officers were forced to go their separate ways, the foundation continues to this day.
Near the beginning of the formation of this foundation, the officers wanted to raise funds to establish a home or safe harbor for abused children. But because they were forced to seek employment elsewhere in other states and even on two other continents, this dream of a safe harbor never developed. Since the beginning of 401Kids Inc. many other organizations have sprung into action all over the USA.