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Grateful for support of child advocacy

Lucy Wagener Executive Director - The Children's Advocacy Center of Portage County Published: June 5, 2017 4:00 AM

Despite the bad news and sadness which sometimes surrounds us, the kindness and generosity which I have witnessed in recent months inspires me to express my gratitude.

Among the stories of sadness in our community are those of innocent children who have been abused. Since 1998 The Children's Advocacy Center of Portage County has served children and families devastated by child sexual abuse. Many more children endure physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

For some it is hard to imagine the pain, fear, and heartbreak associated with child abuse. Although incomprehensible, its effects are very real.

The damage left in its wake can affect a child for a lifetime and its impact often ripples through families and communities, changing them forever.

The good news is that there are those who will never stop trying to change these outcomes.

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This kindness, consideration, and good will was clearly demonstrated over the last several months as our community embraced The Children's Advocacy Center's child abuse awareness, prevention, and fundraising activities.

Pinwheels for Prevention calls attention to child abuse and neglect and is designed to involve more community members in reporting and prevention.

This year 226 volunteers from 6 schools, 2 churches, 2 agencies, our local hospital, 4 police departments, and community groups participated and 1,900 educational fact cards were distributed.

At each of 12 sites in our county 1,000 pinwheels were "planted" to acknowledge those who reported suspected child abuse and neglect and to encourage others to do the same.

Another staggering show of support accompanied the unprecedented participation in Bowl Against Abuse, the Center's annual child abuse and neglect awareness fundraiser.

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More funds were raised this year in support of the Center's services and community education than ever before in its 19 year history.

Throughout the year, other kind and loving people have donated hand-made or carefully chosen items for us to give to the children we serve, eager to bring some happiness to a child who has suffered.

All of this reflects the dedication of those who believe that we can make a difference.

Thanks to the staff members, partner agencies, board members, volunteers and donors who have given us a reason to smile and to pass that joy on to a child who needs it.

To learn more about The Children's Advocacy Center of Portage County call (330) 297-8838, visit www.childadvocacyportage.org, or email cac@rmh2.org. To report child abuse or neglect call (330) 296-2273.

Lucy Wagener, executive director of The Children's Advocacy Center of Portage County.


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