About The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children

Twenty-four years ago, The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children was chartered as a public charitable organization. We are an all-volunteer organization with donations coming from individuals and businesses. We receive no state or federal grant support.

Our vision in 1999 was to heal abused children physically and emotionally and to stop the abuse of children.

John A. Logan College generously provided office space and amenities, and the Foundation opened its doors, not knowing what the future held.

During the life of the Foundation, many rewarding relationships have developed with individuals, agencies and organizations in the southern one-third of the state as well as statewide.

We provide funding for children in crisis when other funds are not available.

Whether it is for car seats, beds, counseling, or special medical equipment for the examination of sexually abused children, the Foundation bridges the gap when possible.

Over the years, we have sponsored numerous trainings, seminars and workshops, provided at no cost to hundreds of attendees on the John A. Logan College campus.

Through our partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, valuable trainings have been accomplished, including "The Effects of Domestic Abuse on Children," "The Effects of Methamphetamine on Children," "Shaken Baby Syndrome," "Your Young Child," and The Effects of Sexual Abuse on Children."
In 2016 the Foundation partnered with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to provide a Paper Tigers documentary screening and childhood trauma training which intimately examined the inspiring promise of trauma informed communities - a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).
In 2017 "How to Implement the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Approach" was sponsored by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and focused on how to implement the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Approach, which has been proven to be effective in increasing the chances of better outcomes for drug endangered children in breaking multi-generational cycles of abuse and neglect.
In 2018, the Foundation funded a training on RESILIENCE The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope. A post film discussion and training "Lifespan Consequence of ACEs, Toxic Stress, and Trauma" was facilitated by Ginger Meyer, Clinical Director for Children's Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, a program of SIU School of Medicine.
In July of 2019 the Foundation, in coordination with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, sponsored a training on trauma informed care practices, with a specific focus on selfcare and compassion satisfaction, led by Dr. Matt Buckman, a licensed clinical psychologist.
In September of 2022 the Foundation partnered with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to provide "General Safety for Outreach Workers: Safeguarding Yourself and Others" at John A. Logan College. The training explored the unique challenges faced by outreach workers as well as general safety techniques for working with individuals and families outside of the office environment. The training was presented by Mark Benson, a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
In October of 2023 the Foundation partnered with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to present "Drug Endangered Children in Rural Communities: Exploring Prevention and Harm Reduction for Families Impacted by Parental Substance Abuse." This presentation uses a trauma-informed lens on parents with SUDS and their own Adverse Childhood Experiences. Speakers presented specific information related to the risks experienced by drug-endangered children and identified generational trends present in families experiencing such adversity. Finally, they explored ground-breaking strategies for mitigating risk while maintaining the safety and wellness of the family unit.

The Foundation has completed several large projects to date to include:

  • In 2003, The Foundation built a new shelter for women and children in Cairo, IL. The 6000 sq. ft. shelter is valued at $600,000 and was primarily completed with the donations of local labor unions.
  • In 2007 the Foundation donated a building in West Frankfort, IL to the Night's Shield/Roan Center and then contributed $125,000 toward its renovation, creating an emergency shelte for children rescued from abusive home situations.
  • In 2008 the Foundation pledged $50,000 to Southern Illinois Regional Social Services, now Centerstone, to help create the children's wing of their Carbondale facility.
  • In 2016 the Foundation approved a special grant of $15,000 to the United Methodist Children's Home (now Spero Family Services) in Mt. Vernon. This grant was for refurbishing cottages at the Children's Home. Approximately $150,000 in labor costs was donated toward this project by local labor unions.
  • In 2021 the Foundation donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois to aid in the building of a new facility in Marion.
  • In December of 2021 the Foundation donated $50,000 to Resilient Southern Illinois (RSI) which works to improve academic, health and social outcomes for children in 15 school districts, fostering trauma-responsive schools and effective family, school, health and community partnerships.

Since its inception, the Foundation has been awarding grants to agencies in Southern Illinois to be used specifically for services directly dealing with the abused, abandoned and neglected children in our region. To date, we have awarded over two million dollars to this effort.

In 2023 the Foundation awarded $100,800 to 29 Southern Illinois agencies serving abused and neglected children.

In 2014, the Foundation contributed $100,000 to the Children's Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, a program of SIU School of Medicine, to create a Mental Health Resource Network in the southern twenty-three counties of Illinois. The purpose of the network was to increase the number of mental health professionals in the region with an 18-month learning collaborative on Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based treatment used to treat children who have experienced trauma such as abuse. Prior to this training, only one certified TF-CBT therapist was in the Southern Illinois area; now over 200 additional therapists have been trained to provide this therapy to children and families.

From 2006 through 2012 the Foundation worked with Pat Benton and River Radio in raising funds for gifts for children at Christmas. During that time more than $500,000 was distributed to community agencies working with abused, abandoned and neglected children to make sure these children had something under the tree at Christmas. When Pat Benton retired, we no longer had the funds from "Pat's Kids" to distribute each Christmas.

So, in 2015, we began a new program...slowly at first...to bring some joy to these children at Christmas. Over the past several years, we have received funding from Ameren Illinois, BlueCross BlueShield, the Huber Foundation, Richard Clark and Tri-State Business Equipment in Harrisburg, Modern Woodmen of America, Hangin' by a Thread in Vienna, Auto Credit of Southern Illinois and so many of our individual donors and volunteers.

Over the years, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to students coming from regional community colleges and enrolling at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. The recipients must demonstrate a background of overcoming adverse personal conditions as a child. In the past year, the Foundation awarded a total of $14,000 in scholarships to students attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Prior to and during COVID and the pandemic, the Foundation worked to help children and families with food insecurity throughout Southern Illinois.

In March 2020, The Foundation distributed $50,000 in grants to 28 area food pantries across 16 southern Illinois counties. The grants required the purchase of food supporting the nutritional needs of children particularly in light of early school closings due to the spread of COVID-19.
In March and June 2020, The Foundation was awarded grants totaling $400,000 from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund created for the purpose of disbursing funds to nonprofit organizations serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Foundation targeted children and their families in 23 southern Illinois counties through a network of 34 different agencies.
From October of 2020 through January of 2021, the Foundation identified and distributed $65,000 in COVID-19 Relief Funds to food pantries and social service agencies. AmerenCares donated $27,530 toward this effort.
In January and February of 2021, The Foundation identified 39 food pantries in our region to receive a total of $100,000 for food for children.
In April 2021, The Foundation contributed $88,300 to the COVID effort for clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, and other pandemic-related needs of which AmerenCares donated $37,500 and the SIU Credit Union donated $17,500.

In 2022, in addition to the many individual requests for beds, clothing, camps, and health-related needs, the Foundation awarded $100,000 to Southern Illinois food pantries. Our only requirement was that food pantries make every effort to purchase food with the highest nutritional value for the children.

In 2023, a total of 51 area food pantries received donations totaling $103,500 to be used primarily to help feed the children. The only requirement asked of food pantries is that they make every effort to purchase food with the highest nutritional value for the children.

Thank you for partnering with us for twenty-four years to help vulnerable children. The need is still great, and we will continue our work.

Learn More About The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children

The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children publishes a newsletter each Spring, which includes the many Sponsors, Accomplishments, Agencies Supported and Special Thanks:

View Current Newsletter