Daily Point of Light # 1588 Mar 6, 2000

Peter Samples ensures that educational and awareness programs for the prevention of child abuse and exploitation are presented to more than two million Kentuckians each year. Samples is the founder and State Chairman of the Kentucky Multi-County Task Forces on Child Abuse, Inc. He volunteers 30-40 hours per week with the organization, which provides child abuse prevention services to every county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Samples began a pilot program for the prevention of child abuse in the Kentucky counties of Bracken, Grant, and Pendleton in early 1985. After two years of successful accomplishments, he expanded the Task Forces to a statewide organization serving all 120 counties of the Commonwealth.

Samples designed the creation of local child abuse prevention chapters, which rely on volunteers to administer the prevention programs within their own counties. This is accomplished, in part, with the placement of child abuse prevention benches displaying an “800 Hotline” in the county courthouses with the help of the County Judge/Executives. Once the County Judge/Executives are involved, they assist in recruiting volunteers for their counties. Presently, there are 36 local chapters, and more than 90 county courthouses with child abuse prevention benches.

Samples, along with other volunteers, assists in the construction of benches — Samples personally delivers and installs them throughout Kentucky. During his visits, he also trains each recruited volunteer.

Samples has authored 52 articles on the subject of child abuse. These articles are published in more than 90 weekly newspapers across the Commonwealth and appear on the Task Force’s Internet Web site. Instructors with the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training use these articles as training materials for police training in child abuse. Additionally, Samples has developed public service annoucements, which are aired by 140 radio stations and 60 television stations each year.

A professionaly staffed hotline is maintained for information and assistance in the prevention of child abuse and receives an average of 10 calls per day. These called are referred to Samples, a certified peace officer with more than 250 hours of specialized training in child abuse investigations.

Through the volunteer leadership of Samples, land has been purchased for the construction of an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. Samples personally participates in other prevention programs by conducting child abuse seminars in schools and civic organizations throughout Kentucky.

Over the years, Samples has volunteered more than 24,000 horus and is responsible for training and motivating some 1,000 additional volunteer. Those volunteers, in return, have volunteered thousands of hours themselves toward the prevention of child abuse.