Nonprofit honors child and aims to end child abuse in community

Eagles Flight Advocacy is targeting teen parents living in the 78211 zip code on the city’s south side, which Allen says has a 59% teen pregnancy rate.

SAN ANTONIO — Christmas day will mark 20 years in the death of Jovonie Ochoa and the horrific details in the child abuse case still resonate in the community.

One non-profit’s initiative, named in his honor, is hoping to make sure no child ever suffers the way Jovonie did.

Pamela Allen founder and CEO of Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach said she’s witnessed child abuse numbers increase over the last decade. She says it’s time for real change to happen when it comes to protecting children like Jovonie from child abuse.

“We started with passing along information of the baby Moses law and doing what we could there but then we wanted to do something more and that’s when Jovonie’s Hugs was born,” said Allen.

Allen named the initiative after Jovonie because she didn’t want anyone to forget his name or the brutality and trauma he suffered.

“We wanted to be able to say maybe they didn’t have the ability to buy food or buy everything that he needed,” said Allen.

Jovonie’s Hugs provides everything a mother needs to take care of her baby and also connects them with resources.

“We provide diapers, wipes, formula bottles, clothing, bedding, cribs, bassinets, car seats,” Allen added.

Allen says they have seen mothers from all walks of life, including those trying to turn their lives around, who need a that extra help or a “Jovonie hug”.

“We just finished the 48th burial. We primarily bury babies who’ve been abandoned and abused and some of these abuse cases have been horrible and as we continue to walk down this road, we want Jovonie’s Hugs to be able to make that impact,” said Allen.

Eagles Flight Advocacy is targeting teen parents living in the 78211 zip code on the city’s south side, which Allen says has a 59% teen pregnancy rate. She hopes this focus will prevent tragedies like Jovonie’s death.

“This whole program was centered around the fact that Jovonie could have used someone like us to intervene. And so we want to continue to do that and carry his name and not forget this legacy,” Allen said.

If you would like to stand with Eagles Flight, they are always in need of donations. You can drop them off at their southside outreach center or donate online.

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