In 2007, they created Noah’s Hope to raise awareness about child abuse, promote prevention and be a voice for victims. The organization honors the Shoup’s son, Noah, who died from injuries he received while in the care of a babysitter.
“We believe that awareness is one giant step toward prevention, and each donation we receive is one giant leap toward hope – Noah’s hope,” said Doug.
The Shoups split the proceeds from Noah’s Hope between the Children At Risk Evaluation (C.A.R.E.) Center at Akron Children’s Hospital and the local Tuscarawas County Child Advocacy Center. Through these donations, both centers can better serve children of suspected physical or sexual abuse and neglect.
Last year, Noah’s Hope purchased telehealth equipment for the Tuscarawas center. With a very small number of child abuse specialists and physicians in Ohio – let alone the county – this videoconferencing equipment gives the center’s team quicker access to Akron Children’s Hospital child abuse experts like Dr. R. Daryl Steiner, director of child protection and child abuse prevention.
The equipment allows Dr. Steiner to examine abuse victims in different counties rather than overwhelming the family with an hour plus drive to Akron. Dr. Steiner also can participate in local case reviews with Tuscarawas staff members on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
“Having a physician who specializes in all kinds of abuse really helps the kids in our area,” said Kristen. “A lot of this footage can be used in court, and it also helps the child/victim avoid 20 different interviews with various doctors and agencies.”
Fundraiser raises support, awareness of child abuse
For the past 8 years, the Shoups and an army of volunteers have hosted an annual fundraiser to generate revenue for Noah’s Hope.
This year’s event will be Saturday, July 26, at 11 a.m. at Shoup’s Cleaning Company in New Philadelphia. Guests can look forward to a silent auction with more than 100 packages, a 50/50 raffle, car wash, chicken BBQ and more.
Kids will have plenty of activities to keep them busy, including a bounce house, dunk tank and face painting, plus pop-a-shot and basketball games with prizes. To help children associate and become comfortable with emergency personnel firsthand, the local fire department will bring a fire truck and an ambulance for kids to explore.
“We always have a good turnout,” said Doug. “It’s not something that we can put together on our own, so we have a lot of help from local businesses with donations, and volunteers who pass out flyers.”
The Shoups’ oldest son, Evan, 12, is committed to helping local kids, too.
“Evan cleaned out his room and donated all of his toys to the TCCAC (Tuscarawas County Child Advocacy Center),” said Kristen. “His willingness to help others enhances our family’s commitment to this community.”
The Shoups say that Noah’s Hope and its annual fundraiser gives them the drive to keep moving forward even though every day is difficult.
“Noah’s Hope gives us a reason to turn something horrible into some sort of positive,” said Doug. “It feels good knowing that we can play a role in preventing a child from being abused or continuing to be abused, and that’s fabulous.”