Tonight's special guest is Rev Henry (Hank) McGrath from Caroga Lake, NY, a child abuse survivor, author, and NAASCA's Volunteer Regional Director for the North East US as a part of our Ambassador Program. He has started a NAASCA support networking group in NY. Hank began life in a poor 2nd-generation Irish family with 4 siblings in NY. Both parents were alcoholics and his mother likely had bipolar/schizophrenia. Hank was targeted with extreme and horrific tortures never knowing why he was singled out. By age 9, he was forced door-to-door asking, "My mother said we are too poor to take care of me. Can I live here?” By age 11 he was hustling to survive in Pittsburgh, PA with bookies, pimps, and prostitutes. It was dangerous for a child alone, and Hank carried trauma from it his whole life including abuse he endured while in the juvenile detention system. His adult life began with crimes, prison, and frequently moving between states. However, after decades of hard living and a few near-death situations, he began facing his childhood trauma and by the 90's was happily married. When his beloved wife died from cancer in 2001 Hank promised her to fight for others on the issues of child abuse. Since then, he has worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as a court advocate for youth, and even received the President's Volunteer Service Award and Points of Light Award. Today, Hank is a minister and is very active in his community including as the Director of 'Focus on Fathers' and 'Neighborhoods Against Drugs', as a Red Cross Disaster Trainer, and an investigative reporter and host for "Voice of the People-FreedomRadio.”
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