Hope is built on the security of children: President and CEO Dr. William C. Bell delivered the keynote address at the Children’s Alliance 2011 Voices for Children Awards luncheon

President and CEO Dr. William C. Bell delivered the keynote address last month at the Children’s Alliance 2011 Voices for Children Awards Luncheon.

Bell spoke on the event’s theme, Stand Strong for Kids, and urged the audience to use whatever capacity they have to make Washington state a better place for children. “I want you to leave here with a renewed sense of determination and hope that every child in the state of Washington will have equal access to an early start — a healthy start — and equal access to an opportunity to achieve their full potential,” he said.

“It’s unacceptable for 565,000 of Washington state’s children to live in low-income households. When 16 percent of our state’s children live in families that experience food insecurity — a fancy way of saying they don’t know where their next meal is coming from — our hope has not yet become real. As long as 58 percent of our children do not attend pre-school, entering kindergarten already behind, our hope has not yet become real. When 110,000 children in Washington have no health insurance, our hope has not yet become real. Our challenge is to understand that hope can change the world around us; not just wishing for hope, but actually living hope and acting with the full expectation and belief that our hopes for children will be fulfilled.”

About 500 guests representing government, public service, business, philanthropy and providers of children’s and family services attended the event.

Children’s Alliance is a Washington statewide nonpartisan child advocacy organization that works to improve the well-being of children by effecting positive changes in public policies, priorities and programs. The organization ensures laws, policies and programs work for children, and holds leaders accountable until they secure the resources required to make all Washington state children safe and healthy. The Alliance is currently leading campaigns focused on early learning, health care, hunger and nutrition, and child welfare.

The Alliance has about 120 organizational members and 11,000 members in its Children’s Action Network across the state. Casey Family Programs is a member of the Alliance, and Lyman Legters, senior director, Seattle field office, serves on its board of directors.

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