What The Younger Me Needed
Thirteen and taken from home - carrying trauma, confusion, and so many emotions...
Founder - Jennifer Dillon - was just 13 years old when she was taken away from her family due to abuse. She was put into emergency shelter but really found solace in reading books. She could get lost in any adventure her mind and imagination were brave enough to overcome. Jennifer's hope with Southern Arizona Book Heroes, is to help children through literacy like it helped her get through her own traumatic experience.
From violent acts, to car crashes, to an ever-growing opioid epidemic - Southern Arizona Book Heroes™ (SABH) joins the frontlines with first responders giving comfort to our youngest & most vulnerable citizens. SABH provides resources that help treat children’s unseen injuries—their emotional wounds.
SABH stocks first responders with new books & plushies to comfort, distract, and soothe traumatized children.
Reading a book is just the first step in building a strong relationship with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens in our community. In supporting our first responders, it is our belief this program is our hope for future generations of this community to find comfort interacting with various emergency responders & in many capacities.
Southern Arizona Book Heroes joins the front lines with first responders giving comfort to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
SABH stocks first responder vehicles with new children's books, coloring books and plushies to distract, comfort, and soothe traumatized children. Our program relies solely on donations from the community.
Your tax deductible donation will touch the lives of even more children in the county.
SOUTHERN ARIZONA BOOK HEROES
Tucson-raised, manager at Sahuaro Trophy and founder of Southern Arizona Book Heroes.
I would stare .... stare at the clock in hopes the abuser would just stop.
I was born in Phoenix, AZ but raised in Tucson. I am the manager of the family-owned business called Sahuaro Trophy and the founder the nonprofit called Southern Arizona Book Heroes.
When I was seven, I was sexually abused. I was sexually and physically abused again from the time I was eleven till I finally spoke up at the age of thirteen.
During the abuse as a preteen, I would stare .... stare at the clock in hopes the abuser would just stop. When I finally spoke up - I was taken away and placed in a home where I was able to escape the pain in books and jigsaw puzzles. I didn't want to live in my reality - books were my safe haven.
I did not want to show I was weak...
I never talked about what was happening - I was closed off. My clothing changed to long pants & sleeves, I did not want people to see the bruises.
I. Did. Not. Want. To. Show. I. Was. Weak.
In high school, I was in drama, and asked to wear something showing alot of skin - I broke down to my teacher telling her I couldn't. My teacher helped me realize I was ok and that no one was going to hurt me. Drama helped me become ok again in my body as I fought the day & nightmares coupled with bulimia.
Before the abuse I had friends and I was outgoing & unafraid to do things or be out in public. During the abuse I was scared to show my body - I did not show skin or have eye contact and lost my faith in adults. Trust is still a hard thing for me still at 20+ years later.
I WAS one of those kids that we try to reach today...
But since these events, I have finally learned to not carry their shame. I have learned it is ok to talk about it and that it was completely NOT my fault. No matter what was said during the abuse - I did not cause it upon myself...I did not ask for it to happen.
Part of the healing was creating this non-profit. As I WAS one of those kids that we try to reach today by giving them a book to distract, comfort, and soothe themselves after experiencing something traumatic.
I want the kids that we reach to know they have trusted advocates. And there is a whole world outside of their current crisis or circumstance that cares about them and wants them to kindle a hope and a future beyond this moment. My hope is that these books spark a wildfire strength from the community - to light the skies of our littlest citizens for a brighter future onward and upward.
...The whole purpose of SABH is to provide resources like a book and/or plushie that help treat children’s unseen injuries—their emotional wounds.