Child advocates gathered Tuesday night at Pascagoula City Hall for a candlelight vigil. They say they want people to know hundreds of children in our own community are abused or neglected everyday.
"We work with about 34 right now, but there are many more in our county that need our help. They need us to find their safe permanent homes," Jackson County CASA Director Laura Singleton says.
CASA volunteer Art Moss shares a story about three children being neglected by their mother. He helped save them.
"The children were running around the neighborhood looking for food because she (the mother) was using all the money she had to buy drugs," Moss says.
"The light of hope signifies lighting the way for these children to find a safe, permanent home," Singleton says.
Child advocates say programs like CASA have lit the way for hundreds of children in the area during the past few years.
For the volunteers who help make this happen, candlelight vigils can be emotional.
"Thinking about some of the kids you've helped is going to be a big part of this. I'm sure I'll get a tear in my eye," Art Moss says.
Moss and other volunteers may cry for another reason as well, remembering the many more who went unnoticed.
"I thought about a lot of the cases we've had. Some of them, the outcomes were wonderful. Some of them, our hearts have been broken," Child Advocate Barbara Moss says.