“I heard him walking and going into the garbage bag, eating out of it...I thought it was a mouse.”
That’s what Geraldine Perkins testified in her third day in court at the murder trial of her six-year-old son Zymere.
After being punished for a day without food or water, her son was rummaging through the trash eating anything he could find.
The next day, his “punishment” would be death.
His mother’s boyfriend, Ryshiem Smith, began beating him with a broomstick “like a piñata.”
Unfortunately, Zymere died. At the time of his death, he had more rib fractures than he had ribs. He weighed 35 pounds.
Zymere deserved a long, happy, full life. And if New York’s child protective services had done their jobs one of the FIVE times they investigated Zymere’s circumstances, he could have had one. But instead his six short years were spent living in fear and pain.
It wasn’t easy telling you Zymere’s story.
After years of working to protect children, I have to admit it never gets easier.
But if we’re going to make a real impact and save children like Zymere, stories like his MUST be told.
I wish his story was uncommon, but it’s not. And without loving parents or a competent child protection system, good Samaritans like you may be the only chance children like Zymere have at the lives they deserve.
My name is Darcy Olsen, and I’m the CEO and founder of Gen Justice.
This all started because I was planning on opening my home to a teenage orphan through foster care.
I was talking to a social worker, and she told me they had newborns sleeping in offices, and how grateful they’d be if I could open a crib.
So I left that day cradling a meth exposed abandoned infant. I started with one and ended with ten. Time and time again, I remembered Moses being swept down the Nile and asked myself who would comfort them? Who would raise them as their own?
After fostering ten precious spirits, I got a firsthand look at our system’s failures.
Child molesters, rapists and abusers were more protected than their victims.
After fostering many children, my home was filling up but my heart had room - I knew I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. So with a foster baby in my arms, I created Gen Justice with the mission to end the bureaucratic failures, violence and death children suffer in our nation’s broken child protective system.
And I’m writing to you today for two reasons:
1. More children are suffering than ever
2. There’s something you can do to help
Lockdowns are the worst thing that have happened to at-risk children in my lifetime.
Without school, and extremely limited contact with the outside world, children are trapped at home with their abusers like never before -- and with slimmer chances than ever of that abuse being detected.
Abuse-induced child deaths have spiked 33% in lockdowns.
Monsters like Ryshiem Smith and Geraldine Perkins are beating, starving, molesting and killing children like Zymere at higher rates than ever.
But with your generous donation of $33 or more today, you will give Gen Justice the ammunition we need to go state to state and push life-saving legislation where children need it most.
We’ve outlined 33 options for lawmakers to reduce the lockdown’s toll on foster children.
But time is of the essence, and we need all the help we can get to turn these ideas into reality, and save as many lives as we possibly can.
If you can make a generous donation of $33 or more today, I hope you will.
State and local governments are playing politics with our lives and our children are paying with theirs.