“The holidays are a stressful time of the year for needy families,” said Child Advocacy Center Director Sharon De Boer. “There is nothing more difficult than looking into your children’s excited faces on Christmas morning and knowing that Santa couldn’t afford to buy presents.”
The joy of the season can become a burden for many families served at the Child Advocacy Center. For example, a mother and her three children fled their home to escape child physical abuse, leaving behind all of their belongings. The children are worried that Santa won’t be able to find them. A father’s world has been turned upside down after finding out that someone he trusted sexually abused his children. He is a single dad and struggling to make ends meet.
“The financial impact of child abuse is often overlooked,” said Jennifer Gamble, Child Advocacy Center Family Services Coordinator. “For some of our families, this is the only opportunity for their children to experience the magic of Christmas.”
The spirit of giving is alive at the Child Advocacy Center with 163 children already matched with their Secret Santas. Here is where you come in – there are still children from 13 families that do not have their Secret Santa yet. There are three ways to get involved during the holidays and help child abuse victims:
- Sponsor an individual family with Christmas presents for the children and gift cards for food
- Sponsor an individual family with Wal-Mart or grocery store gift cards
- Sponsor the Child Advocacy Center through a special holiday donation or in-kind contribution.
The Child Advocacy Center is a 501c3 non-profit agency and all contributions to the Secret Santa program are tax deductible. The Center works as a multidisciplinary team with the Department of Children’s Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute child abuse cases and help children and families heal from the trauma.
For information on how you can be a part of the magic of Christmas as a Secret Santa to an abused child, contact Jennifer Gamble at the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County at (615) 867-9000 or Cassell Galligan-Davis at the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center at (616) 563-9915.