Kennebec Tales

December 18, 2013

Honor Ayla Reynolds by saving another Maine kid

Maine Children’s Alliance Maine Kids Count report shows that many of the state’s children are “lost” daily, but saving them is possible.

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Ayla Reynolds

Contributed photo

Lighting a candle or commenting on the Internet is easy. Saving kids is harder.

While most people would say that they would have made a personal sacrifice to save Ayla Reynolds, opportunities to make that sacrifice to save another kid present themselves daily.

This time of year, almost non-stop.

Dozens, maybe hundreds, of people contributed to the teddy-bear shrine that grew in front of the DiPietro’s Violette Avenue home in the months after Ayla disappeared. Anyone who can buy a teddy bear for a child who will never see it and let it moulder in Maine’s soppy weather for months can certainly buy one for the countless toy drives and charities who provide presents for needy and sick children this week who have said they didn’t make their quotas this year.

While the Farmington selectmen last week played Grinch by voting to take the American Red Cross and Safe Voices — a group that advocates to end domestic violence in Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties — off its town meeting warrant, Farmington residents don’t have to play along. The $5,000 voters agreed to give to Safe Voices and $2,000 to the Red Cross last year accounted for less than two cents for every $1,000 of valuation.

If every resident of Farmington gave $20 to Safe Voices, imagine the difference that could make in the life of a kid who lives in a home rocked by domestic violence.

Any voting resident in this state can make a difference in how we take care of the state’s children.

While what happened to Ayla Reynolds is rare, children throughout Maine are “lost” in many ways every single day. They won’t all be saved, but some can be.

All it takes is the same compassion that’s directed at Ayla, the same desire to do something.

What a great way this Christmas season to honor that child.

Maureen Milliken is news editor of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel Email her at mmilliken@centralmaine.com. Kennebec Tales appears the first and third Thursday of the month.

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