Sidewalk cracks filled with red sand for child abuse awareness
Published Tuesday, December 1, 2015 7:51AM EST
The cracks of downtown Toronto sidewalks will be filled with red sand Tuesday, to raise awareness about child abuse and human trafficking.
The "Red Sand Project" is part of "Giving Tuesday," a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.
The project is led by Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, an organization with offices in Toronto, Barrie and Peterborough.
"Children come to our centre, we have police and child protection workers there who can do child abuse investigations," Boost President Karyn Kennedy told CTV's Canada AM on Monday.
The organization also has nurses, therapists and legal experts on staff to work with children and families.
The project is meant to "make visible" the more than 40,000 cases of child abuse reported each year in the city, Kennedy said. Red sand is poured into the cracks to highlight that no child should slip through them.
"The Red Sand Project is a real opportunity for us to draw attention to the fact that there are so many children that are being abused -- sexually abused, sexually exploited on the Internet, and unfortunately more recently, sexually trafficked," Kennedy said.
Boost is working with "Fargo" star Bokeem Woodbine to fill several downtown sidewalk cracks on Tuesday morning. Woodbine said the project is a way of "giving back to the community that's been so good to me over the years.
"I just want to give back," Woodbine said.
"There are so many voiceless people out there who we want to encourage to tell their stories, and let them know that they have a place they can go if they've been victimized… If we can't protect the children then what kind of society do we really have?"