WOOD RIVER — Madison County Child Advocacy Center will present its annual “Harvest of Hope” award during an Oct. 10 luncheon to a local organization designated to helping youth build a better future.
The CAC’s Executive Director Carrie Cohan said Lewis and Clark Community College’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps program will receive the award. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. in the LeClaire Room of the LCCC Campus in Edwardsville.
CAC Development Specialist Claire Cooper said that, through the years, YouthBuild created items for the Center.
“They’ve created some amazing things for us,” Cooper said. “One of the featured items they created were spinning wooden pinwheels.”
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. Throughout April the pinwheels are displayed in the Madison County Administration Building along with the Center’s Children’s display, representing the number of children interviewed in the previous year at the Center.
YouthBuild is designed to serve out-of-school youth, 16 to 24 years of age. The career pathway program is designed to prepare young adults to take the GED/High School Equivalency exam or complete their high school diploma while gaining skills in construction, information technology, or as a certified nursing assistant.
YouthBuild functions as an AmeriCorps network affiliate member. The AmeriCorps component of YouthBuild provides students with leadership opportunities while earning money for education and developing an appreciation for citizenship through service learning activities within the community.
Cohan said the Center’s annual Harvest of Hope event shines a light on those in the community that make hope and healing possible to children.
“With the support of our team members and our community, we can ensure that we advance the mission of the center and assist families as they are going through a very difficult situation,” Cohan said. “The YouthBuild program has not only transformed the lives of youth in the area, but various students from the program have volunteered with the CAC for different events throughout the years. They are helping make a difference.”
Cohan said the annual event helps the center raise funds to continue to provide the necessary services for children and families involved in allegations of severe physical and sexual abuse.
“We strive to ensure that every child who comes to the center is heard, supported and connected,” Cohan said.
She said the Child Advocacy Center is a resource for children who are brave enough to disclose abuse. Through the confidential, forensic interview, children are able to share their story one time in a safe and supportive environment.
The center expanded its services in 2017 when it added an on-site therapist.
“Having a therapist on site has been transformational for our clients,” Cohan said.
Tickets are $35. To purchase tickets, visit www.madco-cac.org or call 618-296-5398.
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