Murphysboro, Ill. – With a mission of helping abused, abandoned and neglected children in Southern Illinois, the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children has been bridging gaps and caring for children in need since 1999. In honor of the critical work they do in the local community, Glenn and Jo Poshard have been honored with the ‘Neighborly’ Award inspired by Fred Rogers for his service as an educator and all-around great neighbor and community member.
WISU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is pleased to announce the Poshard Foundation as the new Community Group recipient of the ‘Neighborly’ award.
Community member Robin Haller nominated the Poshards for the award. Haller defines a good neighbor as “being there when your neighbor needs you: with all Jo and Glenn have done for the children of Southern Illinois, I'm sure no one needs to enumerate their neighborliness. I have known them for many years and continue to be amazed at their kindness and generosity on so many levels.”
The foundation, which is run entirely by volunteers, provides everything from grants to local organizations to specialized counseling to beds for kids, as well as ongoing training to raise awareness of child abuse and child abuse prevention. Believing that “every child deserves a safe community, place, person and home,” according to Jo Poshard, the nonprofit donates hundreds of thousands annually with the goal of eradicating child abuse.
“Child abuse is not something that makes communities comfortable. They want to sweep it under the rug, but we don’t let that happen,” said Glenn Poshard, noting that Southern Illinois has two-and-a-half times more child abuse than other areas of the state, as well as greater poverty and drug addiction levels. “Every penny we take in goes to the kids because we are all volunteers.”
The foundations for this critical work began many decades ago: at age seventeen, Glenn Poshard joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea, where his outfit was located close to the Sung Kwang Won Orphanage. He and other members of the infantry division began collecting funds each month to support the orphans and donating their time as well. “We did everything we could and I knew that when I left Korea, it was just going to break my heart because I’d never see these kids again,” he said, although he left even more inspired to serve others."
Fifty-five years later, Poshard reconnected with one of the orphans after reading about her in a journal article. Professor Jini Roby, who had since been adopted by missionaries from Utah, is now an international authority on child abuse, neglect and abandonment. Roby subsequently visited Southern Illinois University to share her expertise and experience and is now among the Poshard Foundation’s many donors.
The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children has also built shelters for kids and women in need. Thanks to a nimble four-person executive board, the organization can quickly make funding decisions that make an impact in kids’ lives and in the community.
Both retired for several years, the Poshards note that “At this stage of our life, this is our passion,” according to Glenn. They also praise others in the area who are doing everything they can to help kids: “The real unsung heroes are the social workers and case workers, who deal with a lot of trauma themselves in direct service to these children. We count on these people to let us know how we can help,” Jo Poshard added.
Learn more about the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children here: Visit PoshardFoundation.org or call 618.985.2828 (x8564).
About One Region All Neighbors
Inspired by the life and legacy of Fred Rogers and in honor of his vision, WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors initiative encourages community members to nominate those who are making positive contributions through acts of kindness, compassion and service. Winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public in five categories— individual, youth, educator, community group, and business. WSIU recognizes these winners on its television and radio stations, website and social media.
Nominate Your Neighbors
WSIU encourages the public to participate in the One Region, All Neighbors campaign by nominating neighbors online at https://www.wsiu.org/neighbor and sharing on social media using #WeAreAllNeighbors.
About WSIU Public Broadcasting
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and education and outreach services. They partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.