Strive to survive

The drive to transform neighborhoods, create nonprofits and support close-to-the-heart causes makes these individuals stand out in the eyes of their peers.

By Lauren Hertzler
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 20 | Posted Oct. 11, 2012

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Photo by Kathryn Poole

“Statistically, I shouldn’t be who I am today,” Charles “Chahlie” Stecker, of 13th and Jackson streets, said.

A man of many trades, Stecker works as a Democratic committeeperson, a judge of elections at South Philadelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad St., and a volunteer with Lower Moyamensing Civic Association.

He is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, a contact negotiator representing the Philadelphia Security Officer’s Union, an avid motorcycle rider and a full-time security officer for Center City’s AlliedBarton.

Stecker is also a child abuse survivor.

“I was quiet for many years, but when I saw the magnitude of what was going on and the effect it was having on families and children, I felt strongly that ... I didn’t go through what I went through to keep it to myself,” Stecker, 49, said.

At age 4, he watched his foster mother kill his 2-year-old brother. The tragic event has inspired Stecker to speak out against child abuse, and help those who have been affected.

“Something inside is driving me to do this,” Stecker said. “I believe that each of our experiences in life, whether they’re positive or negative, is a way of learning. We should use it to help others.”

Stecker founded the International Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, an organization geared toward stopping child abuse before it starts with proactive programs, while also supporting the abused with reactive intervention.

“If we can get the abuser to stop abusing then we [can break] the cycle of abuse,” he said. “Those who do abuse have something in their past that triggers it. It shouldn’t be an excuse, but it’s still a reality.”

Through his system, more than 4,000 volunteers around the country are in charge of catering to people who see abuse in their towns but don’t want to report it, whether it’s because of fear or another reason.

“If you don’t wanna call [to report it], you call us,” Stecker, who has a daughter, Chrysti Lyn Stecker, said. “One of the volunteers will go out while it’s happening ... and they make the call to the law enforcements.”

Stecker started his journey toward fighting against child abuse by acting as an inspirational speaker for “Chahlie’s Angel,” in remembrance of his brother. Through this initiative, he encouraged people not to have their past interfere with their future.

“My free time is serving other people,” Stecker said. “It fulfills me, it’s my calling and it makes me happy.”

Contact the South Philly Review at

Other 2012 Difference Makers

/ Joe Barbuto / Ella Best / Paul Bryson / Nicole Canale /

/ Jasmaine, Jeannine & Jenielle Cook / Erin Dougherty /

/ Duane Davis / Frank Franzini / Adé Fuqua / Bennie & Hilda Hudson /

/ Ray Innaurato / Ed McBride / Jeannine McGuire / Carrolyn Minggia /

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Comments 1 - 20 of 20
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1. Charles J Stecker Jr said... on Oct 11, 2012 at 09:26AM

“I am Humbly Honored to have been nominated and chosen as a "Difference Maker" for 2012 in my Beloved City of Philadelphia and Neighborhood in South Philly.

Thank You so Very Much. There is much work to do but WE can get it done and will.”

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2. Ella best said... on Oct 11, 2012 at 09:35AM

“Charles i'am so sorry for what happen to your brother . I know you loved him so much that you started this organization for abused children. God has guided you thru far so keep your faith and carry on. i wish your organization the best of what life has to give . God bless you. Hope we can work together soon.”

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3. Charles J. Stecker Jr. said... on Oct 11, 2012 at 04:56PM

“Thank You Ella,

Please don't feel sorry for me. I've made it, now it's time to help all of those who need to get where I'm at. More importantly though I strive to Stop the Abuse before it even begins.

Get in touch with me. My number is 215-626-6260.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon.
Chahlie, of Chahlie's Angel and the International Child Abuse Prevention Task Force.

Here is a Link to an Front Cover Newspaper Article that was written about me in the Philadelphia Weekly in May of 2011.

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4. Jeanette Rolon said... on Oct 11, 2012 at 07:01PM

“Walking with others is good,but one of the best walks you will take is when you have enough courage to believe in yourself and walk alone.It then will make more things possible than you can imagine.. So proud to call you my friend.”

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5. Kim Laoie said... on Oct 14, 2012 at 04:11AM

“I truly admire & respect anyone who can over come a devastating past and recover, and turn all the bad into good, and use it to benefit others and help those in the same kind of need that you were in. You are a true inspiration! I understand you being humbled, but, you should hold your head high & proud, you are an amazing man, and a blessing to children. Children are near & dear to my heart, I have 5, 4 are grown, actually 5 are, but Cody is 19, but, at the age level of a 7 yr old, he is autistic /mentally retarded, I won't allow respite care, because I trust no one, and now that it is just the 2 of us, I am even more over protective, I have heard some real horror stories, and I am not putting my child at risk, I am fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with him, and make some sacrifices for that, but well worth it, And if I ever get involved with someone again, they will know right away I am a package deal! You are an awesome man keep up the good work!”

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6. Anonymous said... on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:20PM

“Charles , you are getting quite the rep on facebook , some folks think you and your organization are ripping people off , there is talk about , reports to the F.B.I. or the local D.A. in your neck of the woods ,..... see if you are in violation of the R.I.C.O. stautes ,.....”

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7. Charles J Stecker Jr said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 08:24PM


I'm not sure what you are referring to. My Organization is TOTALLY Volunteer with No Funds involved other than peoples time. I work a Full Time Job.”

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8. Anita Santini said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 09:25PM

“I personally know Charles and I can and will say he is truly an inspiration to myself as well as many others.He always puts others before himself,never hesitating to help someone in need.Charles is a truly amazing guy and Iam honored to know him.After so many years following his brothers murder ,he still to this day fights for justice for little Eddie.Keep up the great work Charles.”

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9. Angee said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 09:28PM

“There is always 1 person who has to be negative, more people should put thirty time to good use instead of bashing others! Keep on chuck!”

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10. Penny Burke said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 09:34PM

“Charles, where to begin man! You are one of the most kind people I know. Your love for you brother and seeking justice for his murder has made my heart melt on many occasions. I like you suffered abuse as a child and rose above it. For that I have so much respect for you. Though you came from hard times your rose above and continued with a clear purpose. Thanks so much for fighting beside me for the rights of all children in this country and for not ever giving up! You are so deserving of this award and a happy, healthy life! Keep up the good fight my friend!”

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11. Eileen Siple said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 09:45PM

“I always find it interesting when people make negative comments, but are afraid to sign their names to them. Personally, it makes me doubt the integrity of the person who left the comment. I will not bother to respond to someone who hides behind anonymity - it is a waste of time and effort. I will say that I have never had the privilege of meeting Charles Stecker, but I have known of his work for some time, and his integrity, in my opinion, is unimpeachable. Charles, I will say to you - do not let negativity bring you down. Anonymous comments should not be given any attention or credence. You do the work that you do, because it is a work of heart. It is perfectly obvious to those that you have touched. Please do not ever give up this fight, until/unless there are no more child victims, because they need you. Anonymous just needs drama, so let him/her find it elsewhere.”

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12. Kim LaVoie said... on Nov 13, 2012 at 09:55PM

“these comments about Charles are untrue & unfounded, he is a good caring man on a mission, please leave him alone to continue with his mission, who gives a damn what people are saying on FB, it is the biggest gossip line in the world and it holds no truth, God knows the truth, I want the crap to stop NOW!!! He has a mission and all you followers of satan are trying to bring him down, well, it's not going to happen, I know who you are and you will be dealing with me, so I advise you to stop NOW and LEAVE HIM ALONE, he is a kind, loving, supportive friend, who DOES NOT deserve this kind of abuse, and I swear it better stop Now, I have nothing to lose, you don't understand that, so don't push me a step further or I will make yoru life a living hell, stop trying to destroy a man with a mission, all because YOU think someone should have not bought him something that is utter BS, it was that persons decision and she would do it all over again, so LAY OFF and if you don't lay off CHarles, LI”

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13. Anonymous said... on Nov 14, 2012 at 10:14AM

“Are you his agent or Spokesperson Kim LaVoie? Or his girl friend? You sure sound angry! It is against the law to Threaten someone. Your comments sound crazy! I am just saying...”

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14. Jessie McVicar said... on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:21AM

“I think its sad that your getting attacked by people who don't like what your doing. Pretty sure it is because when you chase the abuse.... you find that alot of it was set up to happen by government and all the people making money. Charles not making money.


Annon, your just being stupid. Really... I think you need a new hobby....
Like making paper dolls or something......

In the future if you don't have proof of what you say.... your about as credible as a lump of crap on my front lawn.

I am not saying anything other then the obvious.
You need a life Annon.

Why not use your real name?
Wait... sorry cowardice is..... as cowardice does. Which is why your not using your name.


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15. Kim LaVoie said... on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:16PM

“I am not his agent, spokesperson or girlfriend, I am just a friend who supports his mission, I am not threatening anybody, I just want it all to stop,please

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16. Margaret Motheral said... on Mar 1, 2013 at 05:57PM

“Hello Charles, Thanks for being you. You know me from our mutual effort to expose and end corruption. What happened to me happened is in Mt Airy & NW. I'm still under attack by politicians and their cronies. It's been 7 years of constant bullying & terrorizing me with all manner of crimes, including rape threat & exposure to many many varied dangers. Recently, a letter from Senior City Planner Richard Redding surfaced admitting that a "conspiracy was engineered in the Reed Miller Council Office." I know the players and the crimes but it it not safe for me to live in Philadelphia anymore. I'm injured in many ways and doing the best I can to bring justice as the people of Philadelphia deserve better. No one deserves to be the target of hate crimes by their elected officials.”

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17. Bruce Levine said... on Mar 11, 2014 at 05:33AM

“Custody for Cash - Lackawanna County - Pennsylvania - USA
(570) 877-2319”

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18. Anonymous said... on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:16AM

“Posing as a do gooder, all the while asking for donations constantly. His story is horrific, but when you take the opportunity to profit off of such a tragic event, it's wrong. Please be careful of "Chahlie" and his donation requests. Don't allow yourself to be scammed. I'd really like to know how he's actually helped end child abuse other than flapping his lips on various youtube videos. I haven't heard anything that sets him apart from other child abuse advocates that ARE actually doing something to end it. His videos are laughable -- asking for "ideas" on how to end child abuse, and basically just boring the viewer with excuses and useless ramblings.”

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19. Charles J Stecker Jr said... on Sep 17, 2014 at 07:24PM

“Anonymous Comment #18... Come out from behind your cloak of anonymity and expose who you are along with fool proof and duly investigated evidence of your allegations against me. Other wise I strongly advise you to Cease and Desist, Post Haste and Forthwith.”

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20. Tom said... on Apr 13, 2015 at 03:05PM

“Charles, I could tell in the half an hour of knowing you that you are a sincere, decent, and good man. Your cause and devotion to that cause are so admirable. I am thankful for not only the ride you gave me which was so helpful and took you way out of your way but also, for the introspect of your cause and what it is doing for others. Thank you for helping me in more ways than just giving a stranger a ride. God Bless.”


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