(WAFF) - We're kicking off our Superheroes Week today leading up to a massive fundraiser for the National Children's Advocacy Center—the annual Superheroes 5K and Fun Run.
It's timed perfectly to coincide with April being Child Abuse Awareness Month.
All week Margo Gray be introducing you to local Superheroes who may not wear a cape, but they are doing incredible work protecting children right here in our community.
And we're starting out strong with a woman you need to know, Jana Thomas.
Here you are safe to be exactly who you are, the first message children are greeted with the minute they enter the National Children's Advocacy Center.
It's a safe place because, sadly, what has brought them here could be anything from sexual or physical abuse in the home or they were exposed to domestic violence.
While a team works on managing the child's trauma, Family Advocate Jana Thomas steps in.
"Sometimes the caregivers are overwhelmed or in shock and they may have just found out that their child has been abused, so that is pretty hard information and often is overwhelming. They are having a lot of emotions so our role is to enable them to process their feelings but also support their child and let their child know that it is okay to tell," Thomas said.
Just last year, Thomas tackled more than 750 cases of abuse. Keep in mind, those are only the ones that get reported.
Sitting down with Jana Thomas, you'll hear the word team a lot—she's very humble so the title of Superhero wasn't easy for her to accept.
"There is not one person who can make this happen, it takes the team."
You can imagine Jana deals with some pretty heavy topics but does it because she has a passion for protecting children in this community.
Coming up this Sunday, get ready for the NCAC's Superheroes 5K and fun run starting at 1 p.m.
It's really fun for the kids, costumes are strongly encouraged, we want you to dress up as your favorite superhero and have fun with it.
There will be food, a kids play area with inflatables, a costume contest.
And remember, your donations from participating helps the NCAC do the amazing work of protecting children from abuse.
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