April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

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Child Abuse Awareness Month is just days away and one local organization is continuing efforts to help children who are abused or neglected.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Hancock County, also known as CASA, is preparing for a busy April. Multiple events are taking place to raise awareness for children who are abused or neglected.

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These include the Light of Hope Ceremony, Blue Ribbon Campaign, and the Superhero 5K race. The 5K takes place next Saturday on April 6th starting at the Waveland Lighthouse. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race kicks off at 8 a.m.

One of CASA’s main priorities is to recruit and train volunteers to help advocate for children who find themselves in foster care as a result of neglect or abuse. CASA of Hancock County Supervisor Lauren Saucier said, “We recruit and train community volunteers throughout the whole year. We do two trainings a year. Basically those advocates are the ones who are really doing the leg work for us. They go and meet with the kids. They see them in the foster homes. They see them in the schools. Most importantly is they advocate for them in the court system.”

If you’re interested in becoming an advocate with CASA of Hancock County contact them at 228-344-0419.

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Payton Malone grew up in the small town of Archer City, Texas before moving to Norman, Oklahoma where he attended the University of Oklahoma. During his time at OU he interned as a meteorologist at KOCO in Oklahoma City where he experienced all types of weather ranging from tornadoes, flooding and winter storms. Payton received his Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Minor in Meteorology. Payton's interest in weather began at the very young age of six after a local broadcast meteorologist talked to his class about preparing for severe weather. That along with growing up in the middle of Tornado Alley, Payton has been hooked to the weather ever since. He is excited to move to the Gulf Coast and start a new adventure away from the plains. He loves venturing around the area finding new coffee shops, local places to eat, and he looks forward to being involved in the communities on the Mississippi coast. You can follow Payton on social media: Facebook: @paytonmalonewx Twitter: @paytonmalonewx Instagram: @paytoncmalone