Poshard addresses child abuse issues for Child Abuse Awareness Month

By Gus Bode

Factoid:Donations to the Poshard Foundation can be sent to:Poshard Foundation, John A. Logan College, Carterville, IL 62908

Child abuse in Southern Illinois is two-and-a-half times higher than the state average – a problem people like Glenn Poshard have dedicated their careers, time and lives to helping.

Poshard, founder and director of the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, spoke of the accomplishments of the foundation Monday night at the SIUC Law School in recognition of National Child Abuse Awareness Month.


Recalling his experience as a U. S. Army serviceman serving in Korea, Poshard spoke of his first encounter with children who had been abandoned, left to fend for themselves and deemed societal outcasts and the impact they had on him.

“I began to question God and all the deep philosophical things you do when you see that kind of injustice going on in the world,” Poshard, SIU Board of Trustees’ chairman, said. “I didn’t understand how children could be treated this way.”

A forerunner in the fight for neglected and abused children in the Southern Illinois area for more than 20 years, Poshard has helped establish numerous programs to aid these children, including Coats for Kids, a program in which new coats and shoes are provided for underprivileged children and the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children.

Established in 1999, the foundation, a public organization, helps raise funds to support children living in shelters and offers child-abuse prevention and advocacy training.

Abiding by an organizational motto, “Every child deserves a safe person, a safe home and a safe community,” Poshard said it is the blank look of hopelessness and despair on the face of children that drives him to do more.

“I needed to find out, I needed to know more about child abuse, neglect in the family,” he said.

The foundation, with the help of union workers, Habitat for Humanity and student volunteers, completed a $600,000 women’s shelter in Cairo and has pledged $100,000 to the construction of a second shelter in Harrisburg.


“What we do is plug gaps,” Poshard said. “We are not professional child-care people.

“I don’t know anything about that. I just know there are abused and neglected children out there.”

As guest speaker of the United Nations Association – USA, Poshard also encouraged the support of UNICEF, saying their sole purpose is the protection of abused children.

“Whatever criticism people have of UNICEF should not be about the job UNICEF is doing,” Poshard said. “It is always and only the UN that is there to serve those children.”