I need your help! Every year the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is called “Giving Tuesday.” I am asking you to participate in my “Giving Tuesday” challenge to help abused children. For the next 4 weeks every day save your spare change to help me change an abused child’s life. You can do this at home as a family or at work asking your coworkers to do the same. Start off by grabbing that change sitting in your car, dresser, laundry room, or bottom of your purse for all us women. Then find a jar, canister, something to collect all your change in all month. Then every day empty your pockets of your spare change. At work get your coworkers involved. If you’re a teacher put an empty canister in the teachers’ lounge write an email to all staff explain what it is for or a note by it and who this money will help. Get your students involved and have a classroom donation jar. Think of where you work and how you can get your coworkers or customers to help in this Giving Tuesday cause.
I serve on the board of the Illinois Children’s Advocacy Centers. There are 38 Children’s Advocacy Centers in Illinois that serve 93 counties of the 102 in Illinois. CAC’s strive to reduce trauma and provide support to child victims of violence and their families. These centers serve as a community resource to facilitate the identification, intervention and prevention of child abuse.
In April 1998 at 13 years old I found myself in one of these centers telling my story of abuse for the first time to a complete stranger. That complete stranger was a trained forensic interviewer. I walked into this agency with fear and I walked out reclaiming my voice. For the next year and a half the agency provided free individual and group counseling to my family. My parents were in a parents support group while my sister and I were both in different survivor groups for girls. All these services were provided free to us. Had we gone somewhere else it would have cost thousands without insurance.
CAC’s are a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, CAC’s provide all services free of charge in both English and Spanish. One session of therapy alone would cost $150.00 but being a nonprofit families are never charged. One service we did not need but also provided is the medical center used for medical exams on abused kids for evidence in court.
The CAC changed my life at 13 years old. Without the support services I received I would not be the confident outspoken person I am today protecting kids across this world. Illinois was the first state to pass Erin’s Law and it was signed by the Governor at the CAC I went to as a child. I wanted my law that would give kids a voice to be signed in the place I reclaimed my voice.
I want all abused children to be able to receive the same support I did free of charge at a CAC, but CAC’s cannot offer these services without the donations from the public and businesses. It breaks my heart when I hear about a CAC having to close their doors due to government funding being slashed. Funding is a main topic of all of our board meetings because without it we cannot function.
On Tuesday December 1st go to the bank with all the change and cash it in. Then write a check out for the amount raised to CACI or Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois. Make sure you write the check out to the CACI because people send donations to Erin’s Law and I don’t want to mix them up.
Then send it to:
847 S. Randall Rd
Elgin, IL 60123
Help play a part in changing an abused child’s life with your change.
During the week of December 7th I will announce how much change you donated to help change an abused child’s life. Please SHARE this and ask your friends to join this important cause to help children heal.
Last month I asked many of my dedicated followers to help me in this Giving Tuesday cause and one of them put her 20 year old autistic son in charge of it and he already has $154.00 in change.