Child Welfare


For Immediate Release
October 16, 2009


For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602


WASHINGTON, DC— Beginning October 18 and throughout the rest of the month, thousands of faith communities across the country will take part in the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) 17th annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebration. The Children’s Sabbaths theme this year, “Create Change for Children Today: Bring Hope and a Better Tomorrow,” recognizes that there are millions of children in our country who urgently need adults to help change their lives for the better.

More than 14 million children live in poverty in our nation—one in every five children—and more than eight million children lack health coverage. Countless children are caught in the pipeline to prison created by poverty, failing schools, lack of health and mental health coverage, racism and other factors. A Black boy born in 2001 stands a one in three risk of going to prison in his lifetime and a Latino boy born that same year stands a one in six chance of imprisonment.

“These statistics are not acts of God; they are the result of our political, economic and short¬sighted choices as a nation, states and communities,” said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. “Religious congregations know that allowing children to be the poorest group of Americans, allowing children to suffer without health care coverage, and allowing children to face a future of prison rather than promise stands against everything that they stand for and that the One they worship intends. That’s why on the Children’s Sabbaths weekend, places of worship across the nation and across the religious spectrum are standing together and committing to create the kind of change our children need and the kind of change that will bring hope and a better tomorrow for children and for us all.”

The multi¬faith National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths weekend is sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund and supported by Catholic Charities U.S.A., the Islamic Society of North America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís in the U.S., the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and more than 200 other religious organizations and denominations.

For more information about the celebration of the Children’s Sabbaths, visit