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South Florida Restaurants Help Raise Funds, Awareness to End Child Abuse

Enjoy the grilled octopus at Tablé by Bachour and support a solid cause while you're at it.
Enjoy the grilled octopus at Tablé by Bachour and support a solid cause while you're at it. Tablé by Bachour photo
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To generate awareness and funds for its protective and educational efforts throughout South Florida, local nonprofit Lauren’s Kids has partnered with more than 20 restaurants for a voluntary donation campaign.

The campaign — dubbed Appetite for Giving — kicks off Saturday, April 1, and runs through the month.

“This is the first time we’ve done anything like this,” Lauren Book, founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, tells New Times. “We’re always looking at new ways to educate, and what better way to meet people where they are. We are so grateful for our partners throughout Miami and Broward counties.”

Participating restaurants in the Appetite for Giving campaign include Bachour, Tablé by Bachour, Fireman Derek’s, MaryGold’s Florida Brasserie, Temple Street Eatery, Books & Books, Vivace, and more. A complete list of partners is available at laurenskids.org/appetiteforgiving.

To donate, diners at participating restaurants will find an educational brochure in the check stuffers at the end of their meals. The brochure will have a QR code for donating to Lauren’s Kids.

Funds will benefit the organization’s program and advocacy efforts, including in-school child sexual abuse prevention programming and safety toolkits for families. Approximately one in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

“Looking ahead, we never want to put a cap on anything we do,” says Book. “While we don’t have a specific goal in mind for this campaign. We want to make sure people are always paying attention and having the conversations that need to happen.”

In years past, Lauren’s Kids has hosted a walk across the state from Key West to Tallahassee for the cause. This year, its Appetite for Giving campaign will be complemented by a 42-hour walk at the Florida Capitol complex from April 25 through 27 in tribute to the 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the United States. The organization is also hosting a virtual walk throughout the month.

“My goal as a survivor myself is to prevent these things from happening... and so kids know how to access help,” says Book. “Unfortunately, these things happen and, for too many, are part of the fabric of our lives. I want them to know they will be okay, and we’re here to help.” 
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.

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