Child Enrichment has a “Clothing Closet” for child abuse victims and severely neglected children of the region. These children often have only the clothing they were wearing when removed from their parents because of abuse. Child Enrichment has provided over 20,000 pieces of high quality, new and used clothing to children in need this year. New socks and underwear in all sizes are always needed. The Columbia County News-Times publisher put out a request for new socks and underwear for children, and that effort resulted in 226 pairs of socks, 74 sets of underwear and a $100 donation. Thank you!
Child Enrichment served 695 abused children this year. We also try to provide Christmas for our neediest clients. This year, five gifts, two books, a stuffed animal and stocking stuffers were provided to each of the 269 children on our list. In addition, we held a Santa Party at St. John Towers for 84 children and 39 of their caregivers. Each child received a wrapped gift, specifically chosen for them.
Books were also distributed and photographs were taken and given to each child. We have found that the majority of abused children grow up and have no pictures of their childhood. It is heart-wrenching, and the horror of the abuse that these children suffer is unbelievable to someone who does not work in this field.
There are heroes everywhere, however. Some are everyday people. Here is one example: “This is our 113th child...” I overheard her say. Just to make sure I heard correctly, I got up from my desk and walked into the next room and met her. At 73 years of age, she and her husband have taken foster children for 35 years.
The most recent is a 2½-year-old boy, a Child Enrichment Court-Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, client. This woman was “shopping” at the Child Enrichment Santa workshop for a few Christmas presents to give to her latest foster child, No. 113. I just had to share this:
With so much evil, abuse and horror, there are moments of pure joy in this work, when angels appear, and good defeats evil, and there is hope that another child will make it. One hundred and 13 foster children – these people are heaven-sent, and I could tell, she loved every one of them.
Our staff and volunteers are angels on earth. They are heroic advocates for the most vulnerable and victimized children of the region. Bless them.
Please know that these precious children will have a good Christmas this year because of caring and generous people. Please also know that you, too, can help them to heal and recover from horrible abuse and severe neglect. Every day, Child Enrichment works to help child victims of abuse to recover and heal and ultimately survive and thrive.
You can donate money for therapy to help them recover, and to CASA to help find safe, permanent homes for children and sibling groups. You can also volunteer. ... Help will always be needed as long as children continue to be victimized.
Please have a wonderful Christmas and know that these children are safe this year with someone who is caring and providing for them.
Dan Hillman, director
Child Enrichment Inc.