Causes to consider: DeKalb Children’s Advocacy Center

Pictured is DeKalb County Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director Elizabeth Wheatley.

It’s been a challenging year for everyone. We hope that you will consider giving what you can to local charities that provide vital services to the community. Over the holidays, we will be telling you more about some of these organizations and how you can help.

Who: DeKalb County Children’s Advocacy Center

What they do: The center is a place where alleged victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse are referred by the Department of Human Resources and Law Enforcement when reports are made to them. The child is seen by a specially trained interviewer in order to gather specific details of the abuse in a non-threatening, forensically sound manner. The interview is conducted in our “child friendly” room while social workers and investigators observe via closed circuit television. The Family Advocate Program provides support for non-offending caregivers of alleged child abuse victims. Therapists who visit local schools are coordinated under the Advocacy Center. The CAC also performs family violence prevention through presentations made to elementary age students in schools, as well as speaking about bullying and cyberbullying and prevention of dating violence. Parent Education Courses offer support and helpful information for parents of newborn babies, toddlers, adolescents and teens. CAC also offers a class to help shift to a co-parent relationship caused by divorce. Finally, the center operates The Gathering Place, a safe place for custodial and non-custodial exchanges as well as a child-friendly environment for supervised visitation and offers affordable purchases to the public through the Thrift Outfitters Store in downtown Fort Payne.

What they need: The Children’s Advocacy Center maintains a wish list of items they always need. It includes stickers and activity books for children, play jewelry, small toy cars and trucks, bottled water, cleaning supplies, craft supplies, toilet paper and paper towels, disposable masks and power-free gloves (size M, L, XL), as well as donations of furniture, toys, pictures, jewelry, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, children’s clothes, purses, and shoes that they can sell to the public at the Thrifty Outfitters Store at 220 Gault Avenue N., where all proceeds go to support the services offered.

How to help: One-time or monthly tax-deductible donations of any amount can be made through their website at https://dekalbcac.org/how-to-help/donate-online/ or mailed to P.O. Box 680173 Fort Payne, Alabama. Donations can be made in honor of someone who has passed away. To volunteer, call 256-997-9700. You can also help by shopping at the Thrifty Outfitters Store or donating the above described items between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 256-979-1453, then bring the donated items to the back door. Each February, the CAC also hosts the Eddie McPherson Memorial Dinner Theatre at the First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center, although plans for a 2021 version have not yet been announced.

Does your tax-deductible organization need a shout-out? Drop us a line at news@times-journal.com to let us know how you improve lives in the community and where we can find out more.

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