HOUSTON -

Gwen Carter from Texas Department of Child Protective Services says the number of abuse calls they get numbers nearly 25,000 a year for 31,000 children. It's a challenge that keeps her office on the move trying to make sure the children of Southeast Texas are safe. The recent case where 5-year-old Jordan was found under a stairwell nearly starved, illustrates the problem they tackle every day. Carter talks about what the agency is doing to try keep the Jordan's of the world from happening.

Rania Mankarious is the President & CEO of Houston Crime Stoppers and says her organization is focused on catching abusers during the month of April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, and is offering $5,000 rewards for tips leading to arrests. Both women are passionate in their appeal to viewers to say something if they see something.

April 27 is the March for Babies for the March of Dimes. It is the largest March of Dimes walk in the United States. Ambassador Father Greg Crawford talks about the birth of his son Joshua at three pounds and how March of Dimes research helped save his life.

Vi Phu is a partner with  Mercer HR Consulting and says the cost of prematurity is staggering and is one of the reasons all of us should be willing to help out. She says one in nine births is premature and that the cost of that one premature birth is more than the other eight births combined. KPRC Local 2 is a proud sponsor of the March for Babies.

Two billion dollars is available in government contracts in the Houston area and the Construction Contractors College is designed to help women and minority contractors develop the skills to compete for it. Tandelyn Weaver is the Executive Director of the Kingdom Builders Center which is partnering with many other organizations to create this nine month program that will teach the relevant skills.  Laurie Vignaud is Senior Vice President with Capitol One Bank and says the program is free for the 20 people who will be selected. The deadline for applicants is April 18 for the program that will begin on May 20.

It is a very informative half hour. Watch "Houston Newsmakers" with Khambrel Marshall Sunday at 10 a.m., right after "Meet the Press" with David Gregory.

More Information:
•Gwen Carter., Houston Child Protective Services,  713-394-4000, www.hc-ps.org
•Rania Makarious, President & CEO Houston Crime Stoppers 713-521-4600  www.Crime-Stoppers.org
•Vi Phu, Partner Mercer HR Consulting, 713-276-2100, www.mercer.com
•Greg Crawford, March of Dimes Ambassador Father, 713-623-2020, www.marchofdimes.com/texas/events
•Tandelyn Weaver, Executive Director Kingdom Builders Center, 713-723-8187 www.kingdombuilders.com
•Laurie Vignaud, Sr. VP Capital One, 713-435-5319, www.kingdombuilders.com