Trucking company owner, author, and survivor Rodney Timms is on a mission to lower the rate of child abuse. He wanted to create real change, and decided to set off on a 77-county tour across Oklahoma, working with law officials and talking to the community about child abuse prevention.
“Kids don’t have a voice. I’m trying to be their voice. I’m trying to give them a voice with this tour,” said the award-winning Timms.
Physically abused by his reactive father from the age of four to fifteen when he almost died from a beating, Timms knows about the pain and suffering abused children go through. He said at the age of 16, he fell in love with his wife and was also introduced to a different “father” to show him the light during dark times. He wrote about it in his second book, “My 3 Angles.”
“It (his story) is the story of a man made whole through the grace of God and a few earthly angels along the way,” he wrote.
In 1982, Timms started the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by by professional crisis counselors. The hotline has received over 2 million phone calls since its inception.
Now the 61-year-old owner and president of Western Flyer Express, a national trucking company based in Oklahoma City, oversees 450 employees and still finds the time to promote his message. He’s already been to 63 counties on his state-wide tour so far, leaving only 14 more to visit. Next month he’ll travel to the State Capitol for Child Abuse Prevention Day, trying to effect important legislation regarding child abuse laws.
“I’d like to see the child abuse laws become tougher”, he told Wagoner Tribune. “They estimate 12 million cases of child abuse cases every year and only a third of those are reported every year, but the most staggering statistic of them all is that less than one percent will make it to court.”
For the tour, Timms is carrying his message all over Oklahoma in a customized truck with OCIA’s “Protect the Kids” logo and the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline vinyl-wrapped around the trailer.
He’s made personal relationships with Oklahoma’s legislators, giving them each a title of his book and working towards, as he says, correcting the system. “There are too many cases where a judge makes a decision that is not in the best interest of the child,” he said.
In 2012, Timms received the Marion Jacewitz award, an award for his service on improving the quality of life of Oklahoma’s young population, and he was handed a Certificate of Commendation from the state senator in 2014.
You can visit his website www.callingallhearts.com for videos, pictures, blogs and book purchasing information as well as information on Timms and his campaign to end child abuse.
According to Childhelp, child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. In fact, an instance of child abuse is reported every ten seconds, reports say.
If you’d like to make a donation to Childhelp, read stories or statistics on child abuse, or find out how you can get involved, visit their website here.