As our local child welfare System of Care is reliant on strong partnerships and a united voice to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community, the work, mission and life of Dr. MLK demonstrates how one person can change the world.

Many people are inspired by Dr. King’s quotes and vision for a better society; and the degree to which he invested his life in pursuit of that vision.

In recognition of Dr. King’s life work, I’d like to take this opportunity to crosswalk a few quotes from Dr. King to the work that we as a community can apply to our mission of “Protecting Children.”

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In 2003, our community came together to advocate on behalf of Brevard’s children, resulting in a change in legislation leading to the privatization of child welfare and the vision our community had to ensure the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable of citizens, our children. Through the tireless efforts of over 150 volunteers, our local System of Care’s priorities, vision and mission were established and have guided our efforts through to today.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Due to the sense of urgency and high profile coverage surrounding the extent of harm experienced by Florida’s children, Floridians stepped up to ensure a better future for Florida’s children. Amidst much controversy and tension surrounding privatization, reform resulted because concerned citizens and advocates stepped up and out of their comfort zone to make a difference.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” It was a challenging time to institute the magnitude of change ready to occur 14 years ago, but Brevard’s citizens were relentless in their pursuit of creating a community based child welfare System of Care that placed Brevard’s children first.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” Now, 14 years later, the crisis has been stabilized, the system improved, the urgency diminished, yet the spirit and intent of Community Based Care lives on and still requires the same degree of fervor and investment as it did when the system failed its children.

As we enter into 2017 and reflect on what started as a grassroots effort many years ago that has touched and changed the lives of over 30,000 of Brevard’s most vulnerable citizens, the question is “What are you doing for others?” and more specifically, for the children, youth and families living in our community who desperately need support, guidance, encouragement and healing.

If you have time, willingness and a desire to make a lasting and meaningful difference in the life of a child, please consider volunteering your time at BFP, C.A.R.E.S or with any of our partner agencies or consider fostering a youth, serving as a GAL, or making a donation. For more information on ways you can make a difference please visit or contact Melissa Breckenridge at 321-752-4650 Ext. 3047 or to learn more.

“To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.”


Patricia Nellius