Looking up and out for child victims and their families.

November 21, 2023

by Judith Rodman
President & CEO

Time away from my jam-packed calendar is a welcome change. I recently spent time in Sequoia National Park. There’s something about the giant trees, mountains, and the quiet that restores my soul. 

During one of our hikes, I came across one of those giant trees and was struck by an urge to climb. But I was scared. It was really tall and intimidating.

I wanted to do it, but fear made me hesitate. I was not sure I could do it. What if I fell? My friend saw my uncertainty – the desire to do something brave but scary. “You can do it. We’ll go one step at a time. I’m not going to let you fall.”

And so we did. I climbed that tree! We went slowly, climbing carefully, my friend providing encouragement, finally reaching a spot where we could look up and out. And WOW – not only was I rewarded with a spectacular view – I was proud of myself. I had help, but it was ME who got there. That’s empowerment, that’s hope.


So, what does this story have to do with Sunflower House?

For a child victim, telling their story is like climbing a giant tree. They want to unload the weight of fear, shame, and guilt but they are scared; they don’t know if they can. And for their parents and caregivers, the shock and sadness can leave them feeling like they’ll never feel hope and joy again. 

Sunflower House is here to show them it can be done. That we won’t let them fall. When they reach where they can finally see the view and feel hope again, that’s their accomplishment, their joy to savor.


So, what does this story have to do with YOU?

If you’re reading this, chances are you are a donor, volunteer, staff, or community partner. Maybe you attended a training, or your child saw a Happy Bear play. Whatever your role in our mission to protect children from abuse, you are the reason a child can climb that giant tree. It’s YOU who climbs with them, supporting and caring. You helped them see the view and feel hopeful again.

Thank you for looking up and out for our kids and families. 

Enjoy the view,


About Judith Rodman

Judith (Judi) Rodman is the President and CEO of Sunflower House, the Child Advocacy Center serving Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Ms. Rodman has more than 25 years experience in community mental health, family services, therapeutic intervention with children and families, and nonprofit leadership. Ms. Rodman has extensive nonprofit experience in program development and evaluation, staff leadership, and managing state, federal, and private grants.  Read More.

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