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St. Germaine supporters hear lecture on Internet child safety

St. Germaine has contributed more than $4 million to fight against child abuse

St. Germaine members Betsy Witt and Nicole Hall-Brown with San Diego Police Foundation grants manager Kristen Amicone, St. Germaine president Wendy Neri and philanthropy chair Coco Bancroft
St. Germaine members Betsy Witt and Nicole Hall-Brown with San Diego Police Foundation grants manager Kristen Amicone, St. Germaine president Wendy Neri and philanthropy chair Coco Bancroft
(Courtesy)

San Diego Police Foundation’s grants & operations manager Kristen Amicone presented an informative lecture, “Protecting Children from Cyber Crimes,” to members and guests of St. Germaine Children’s Charity (SGCC) March 5 at a La Jolla home.

The lecture was the third in a series of four educational presentations SGCC hosts each year. San Diego Police Foundation is one of 13 social service agencies to receive grant dollars from SGCC in 2014. SGCC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation comprised of some 300 members committed to stopping child abuse and improving the lives of abused and neglected children in San Diego.

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Amicone delivered a 45­-minute look at Internet crimes against children and how to recognize them, focusing on how to protect children from becoming victims of online predators. She described examples of risks children are exposed to when using social-networking sites and what to do if your child is the victim of cyberbullying or unwanted sexting (sending sexually explicit messages or photos via text messages).

Amicone also explained how the Foundation helps financially support the police department, including investigating and apprehending child molesters who use the Internet and social media to prey on children looking for companionship online.

“Knowing the risks and warning signs that a child is being bullied online is important for everyone to understand — especially if their child is using social media,” said Wendy Neri, St. Germaine president. “We selected the San Diego Police Foundation as one of our 2014 grant recipients because their program provides education to parents and children that helps protect them from becoming exposed to online predators and ultimately helps prevent child abuse.”

During March and April 2015, the SGCC Grant Selection Committee is reviewing and visiting more than 20 social service agencies in San Diego that hope to receive 2015 grant dollars. The funds are raised each year from SGCC’s membership fees and contributions, as well as its annual ​Silver Tea held in December at a La Jolla home.

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Approximately $120,000 was raised at the 2014 ​Silver Tea, which will be divided and donated to the 2015 grant recipients.

“Our 16-member grant committee formed eight teams of two to three members each to visit and evaluate the agencies that applied for grant dollars this year,” said Coco Bancroft, SGCC’s philanthropy chair. “The selected agencies will be announced at St. Germaine’s annual luncheon on June 9, 2015.”

The fourth and final educational lecture of the 2014 series will be Wednesday, May 6, and the speaker will be announced in April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The cost to attend is $15. For more details, visit stgermainechildrenscharity.org

Since 1984, SGCC has provided financial and in­kind support to San Diego County’s abused and neglected children through grants to local agencies that serve them. To date, SGCC has contributed more than $4 million to fight against child abuse.

In 2010, more than 6,700 cases of child abuse or neglect were substantiated in the county. In addition, 5,000 children are placed in foster care each year through the San Diego court system. The entire community experiences the emotional and economic impact through displaced families, increased medical costs, rising prison populations and unfulfilled potential.


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