Enumclaw's outpouring of affection recognized by agency

Enumclaw residents who rallied around a baby beaten by her mother's boyfriend were to be honored by the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Monday evening at the city council meeting.

DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock was slated to present the community with the department's first "Neighbor to Neighbor: Taking Care of Our Children" award, for the initiative the community took in raising more than $15,000 to help with the baby's expenses.

Known by the community as the "Enumclaw Baby," Angelina Oakley was just 7 months old in April when she was hospitalized for injuries incurred from the abuse. She was taken to Enumclaw Community Hospital, where it was discovered she had suffered 11 broken bones in her arms and legs. She was transported to a Seattle hospital, where she was treated.

Both her mother and the mother's boyfriend were charged with crimes. They sit in jail awaiting trial.

"Community solidarity in responding to and helping prevent harm to children and other vulnerable residents is key to building healthy families and healthy communities," Braddock said. "Social service organizations alone are not equipped to protect every member of every community. The best way to prevent tragedy is to engage neighbors and close family members in keeping in touch with the children, disabled, ill and elderly neighbors and family members."

"I believe that there are many positive unsung deeds happening in communities across the state that also deserve to be recognized," he said. "Hopefully Enumclaw will further inspire those efforts in other communities."

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