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Posted By Rebecca Parkey on 04/12/2021

Can One Person Make A Difference?

Can One Person Make A Difference?

I have had this conversation with several family members, friends, and clients over the years.  Recently, this has come up more and more because I am writing a book on resilience, and I have found a new advocacy platform for child abuse prevention.  The question is interesting because we watch movies, we read books, and we constantly think, "that isn't me." I am just one person and I can't really make a difference. 

I was at church yesterday and our pastor was preaching on service.  That Christ called us to be bond servants, and through that service we are leaders.  He talked about how that sounds dichotomous in our culture. Today, when we apply for a job, we talk about how we are leadership minded, we don't talk about being servants.  But that is what we are called to be.  What would this world be like if we all had that mindset?  Would we realize that in being a servant for our fellow man we are actually being a leader?  

The question of whether one person can make a difference is simple.  The answer is of course is yes.  The question is more complicated than one might realize, however.  What people wonder about is making a difference, I think, on a large scale level.  The point is not to make a difference on a large scale level.  Most people are not called to make a difference in that way.  I really believe that most people are called to make a difference one person at a time.  Here is an example.  I was told a story by a family member about how she was in a relationship more than 30 years ago and it was disclosed to her that a child whom she did not have any relation to, was being molested by her step-parent.  She didn't know what to do, but she knew it wasn't right and she had to do something.  She told the grandparent, who she was the closest to at the time hoping he would be able to do something about it, but said if nothing was done she would go to the police.  Eventually, the child was taken out of the home and was protected and able to move in with the grandfather. That child had not disclosed this abuse to anyone until she had talked to this family member.  This family member made a difference to this child.  She felt safe and protected by this family member of mine.  My family member made a difference in this child's life.

There are countless examples. I have another example in which another family member took 2 children in who didn't have anywhere to go.  She gave them shelter, food, and clothing.  This was an act of love and compassion.  Those children were in their teen years, and runaways.  They will never forget what this person did for them.  This is what we are all are called to do. These are seeds that are planted on the hearts of each of these children that will help them to know love and kindness for the rest of their lives, that someone out there cared enough to show them love and compassion without any agenda.

When I read of the gap in the statute here in Nevada, I was upset, sad, and scared.  I was scared for the children in this state.  This statute allows for a massive gap in services, as well as a gaping hole in the children who have been reported to fall through the cracks.  So many children who have been abused have to have fallen through the cracks because of this statute and I could not and would not let this go.  I did not know if I could make a difference but I also knew that if I did nothing that I couldn't live with myself, so I did something.  I wrote television stations (which did not pick up the story).  I wrote senator's offices, I wrote everyone I could possibly think of and lo and behold Senator Jackey Rosen's Office responded to me.  They called me back and they talked to me.  They let me know that because she is a U.S. Senator for the State of Nevada, she is not able to impact the laws at the state level, HOWEVER she would help me.  Her team worked together and at the end of the week the sent me a list of 10 bills being introduced to the legislature right now that the senators who are sponsoring the bill may help me to attach an addendum onto the bill so we don't have to wait 2 years to introduce a new bill for these heinous gaps. They said to call back if I have any questions or needs.  

From there I found a bill that I believed (God led) would be the perfect bill to attach an addendum to.  SB376 proposed by SenHHS Revises provisions relating to child welfare. (BDR 38-503) This bill has enough of the information in it that with the changes that I am proposing, it would make sense to add these as an addendum. I e-mailed directly all of the senators on this committee, with the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department Chair, Senator Ratti e-mailed me back on Friday of last week!  She explained that another Senator, Senator Ohrenschall is the lead sponsor of the bill and he will be reaching out to me.  I am very excited about this development. I truly believe that God has his hand in this and that this has moved so quickly because there is a short timeline because these bills are before the senate committee right now and that the only way to get things changed quickly is for this to happen quickly.  God must have a hand in this, and people must see that children's very lives are at stake! 

As a side note, the Assistant Director of DVS in the State of Nevada even e-mailed me last week to set a meeting with me for tomorrow.  I will be speaking with her about these statutes.  So someone must have reached out to her about my concerns.  I am very excited that I am making waves because no one can make a difference being silent.  I want to make a difference in children's lives and the only way to make a difference is by doing something.  If this is the one thing that I do that makes a difference, then it will make an impact on those I will never know, and that is okay with me.  I pray that it does make an impact and that the statute is changed.  I know what I would do to impact those changes and make a difference and I really hope people will stand up and listen!

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