Sheila Aron 2016

Sheila Aron focuses on spreading love and preventing child abuse

It began with a TV news report about a young girl who had committed a terrible crime––and seeing that, Sheila Aron thought about how that child's life and life-altering decisions could have been different––if only she had known she was loved.

That's when, Aron, a Houston native, sat down to write her book, "I'm Glad I'm Me, Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation." The book then led to the creation of The Thread Alliance, a central organization providing resources for child abuse, intervention and treatment. Together, these accomplishments have earned Aron the recognition as the 2016 Houston Woman magazine HER Awards "Community Angel."

"Aron’s advocacy for loving parent-child relationships reaches deep into her Houston community," said Kim Padgett, a business associate who nominated Aron for the award. "She reads and donates copies of  'I’m Glad I’m Me' to the children of ESCAPE and Childbuilders."

When she first self-published the book in 2008, Aron's intent was to for children to take them home and read them with their families. Although the book is written for children, Aron said there are subliminal messages on every page for adults about the importance of imparting love and kindness to children.

"That's where we need to start," she said. "The weak link is the parents and grandparents with whom the children have the most contact."

"I really wanted to show parents and children how important it is to say the words, 'I love you,'" she said. "Some people never heard the words as they were growing up, so they don't know how to say them to their own children. It creates this continuing emptiness. That's where people feel a disconnection from their families."

"As simple as they may be to say, for some people, it's impossible," she added. "For someone who's not comfortable saying those words, you could be asking them to speak in a foreign language."

Aron estimates she has published more than 20,000 copies of her book, which is available in both English and Spanish, with information available on her publishing website, sheilaaronbooks.com. She said she dedicated the book to the memory of her infant son, Matthew, who only lived two weeks.

After studying at the University of Houston, Aron had spent several years working in her family's business, a Weight Watchers franchise they owned for 32 years.

"It was a happy business because you saw people who made enormous changes in their lives. You saw the change happening," she said.

Now, she strives to effect that kind of transformation in the lives of Houston families, and said that, along the way, she has benefited from the experience, too. 

"Everywhere I went, new doors opened," she added. "I've never had a single door close in my face, because everyone wants to see children have happy, fulfilled lives, and reach their potential. I've met the most amazing people."

She launched The Thread Alliance in 2010 because she said, as she distributed her book to organizations working in the field of child abuse, she learned there was no central agency to act as an umbrella for those organizations or to provide information to the general public.

"I realized that, if I wanted to reach the entire community, I'd have to come up with an idea to let everyone that it is all of our responsibility to end the cycle of child abuse," she said. "That's when I started the non-profit."

The organization now provides information on prevention, intervention, and treatment resources, as well as  information about how people outside the field can contribute to ending the cycle of abuse. The website, thethreadalliance.org, has links to parenting classes, as well as resources for children and teens seeking help for themselves, a family member, or a friend. 

The Alliance also provides Baby Lovies which are infant blankets, scarves, and hats that are knitted, crocheted, or sewn by people in the community who want to contribute something to the cause, but who may be limited in resources and/or mobility.

"Each Baby Lovie is made with love and provides a safety net for a child in foster care," Aron said. Lovies are given to agencies like Children's Protective Services and Casa Esperanza to distribute.

Every April, she also organizes the "Blue Plate Special" program, wherein Houston restaurants participate with one dish on their menu that supports The Thread Alliance. In the past four years, the campaign has raised an average of $10,000 a year to fund grants for agencies that address the issue of child abuse prevention, awareness, treatment, and training. Raising awareness and educating the public about this issue with information on every table is just important as the fundraising, Aron said.

"If we help one family, one parent, or even one child, we've accomplished something," she said.

Join Houston Woman Community
BuyCurrent
Join Our E-mail List
Email: