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Groups promote families, want to end child neglect

Ryan Bergeron from Revival Cofffee Company gives a tour of his new business Friday.  Above, Dane Shaw of the Dallas County Fatherhood Initiative shows visitors some green, unroasted coffee beans.

Ryan Bergeron from Revival Cofffee Company gives a tour of his new business Friday. Above, Dane Shaw of the Dallas County Fatherhood Initiative shows visitors some green, unroasted coffee beans.

Various agencies and groups came together in Selma last week to promote their common cause: ending child neglect and abuse.

All the organizations have received donations from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.

“It’s time to come together and celebrate the success the people in the Black Belt are doing to boost families and prevent child neglect,” said Sallye Longshore, the department’s executive director.

Organizations from across the Black Belt gathered Friday in Selma to celebrate grants from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.

Organizations from across the Black Belt gathered Friday in Selma to celebrate grants from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.

The department was formally and perhaps better known as the Children’s Trust Fund and funds organizations across the state that tackle child abuse from infants to teenagers.

“We cover a wide gamut,” Longshore said.

The district-wide event was held at the Arsenal Place Accelerator to highlight the work the business incubator is doing to create jobs.

“One of the barriers is poverty,” said District Judge Bob Armstrong. “What we are trying to do is create an environment where people can create jobs to support families.”

Armstrong sited a recent example from his son’s Robert’s business, Selma Good Company.

To fill an order for cookies, the company had to bring in temporary workers, giving employees job experience and something to put on a resume.

“[Hopefully}, we can get them connected to another job,” Armstrong said. “When a father can take care of himself, he can take care of his family.”

Guests toured Michael Williams’ Blue Designs as well as Ryan Bergeron’s Revival Coffee Company, both which are housed at Arsenal Place.

“We are proud of our community. We love our community, and the Black Belt area is going up,” Armstrong said.

In all, the department awarded $390,000 to at least seven organizations Friday.

Longshore said some additional grant money would be award in District 7 through the year as well.