The William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is launching a drive to collect clothing, school supplies, snack items and stuffed animals to help victims of child abuse.
The non-profit organization coordinates services for children, who may be victims of sexual abuse, neglect or physical abuse.
Each child leaves behind a painted handprint on the walls of the center, marking their journey to recovery.
The CAC works with the Department of Human Services, Rogers, Mayes and Craig County Sheriff’s Offices, District Attorney Janice Steidley’s office, the Cherokee Nation and all area police departments to coordinate efforts to obtain evidence in child abuse cases.
The center offers free medical examines and counseling services to children.
CAC Executive Director Holly Webb said the center provides services to help children through a difficult experience and to aid law enforcement in gathering the necessary evidence to prosecute cases.
An important part of the process is making the children feel safe and comfortable so they are able to speak with professionals, according to Webb.
The supply drive coordinated by the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will help provide items of comfort for the children, according to Webb. It will also serve as a house warming for the center as they transition into their new facility, according to Michelle Lowry, community coordinator for the district attorney’s office.
“We are grateful to Janice Steidley and all the staff in her offices for their continued support and for organizing the house warming donation drive. This will help the CAC continue to provide services to children suspected to be victims of abuse,” Webb said.
The community is invited to our open house from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 10, Webb said.
Since 2001, the Children’s Advocacy Center has served children and families from Craig, Mayes and Rogers counties. Last year, alone, the agency provided services to 346 children.
In the week leading up to the open house, several area grocery stores are partnering with the district attorney’s office as sponsors.
Donations can be made at Reasor’s in Catoosa and Claremore, the district attorney’s office
located in the Mayes County Courthouse and Carter’s Foods in Vinita.
The items will be delivered as a house warming gifts from the community to the CAC during the open house, Lowry said.