In all, 291 children served by the Fannin County Children’s Center will have gifts of clothes, shoes, coats, toys and other items to open on Christmas morning, thanks to many generous donors.
That was 30 more kids than last year and the most ever served for Christmas by the Children’s Center. “Once again, our generous community rose to the challenge,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “All of our kids will have an extra special holiday thanks to so many generous supporters.”
Rebel Roots Boutique, WalMart, CapTex, Legend Bank, Tax Assessor Collector Office, Tractor Supply, Blessings and Butterflies, Warrior Tire, Red River Gypsies and Bamboo House put up teddy bear trees to help the center collect presents. “Many of these businesses have been doing this for as long as anyone can remember. A couple places were new this year too,” said Barber. “We are so grateful for their faithful and generous support of our Christmas Drive.”
Presents were given to the children and youth who are being served by the Children’s Center’s two primary programs: CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Some of the children are living in foster homes, away from family and friends. Other children have gone to live with grandparents or other relatives as a result of abuse or neglect. Many of these families struggle financially when one or more children suddenly come to live with them. In other families, the discovery of sexual abuse in the home has meant the loss of family income when the offender leaves.
In January, there will be free classes for adults to learn how to prevent, recognize and respond to child abuse. The center’s staff is also excited to begin offering a new child abuse prevention curriculum for children and youth. In February, a new training class for individuals interested in becoming CASA volunteers will begin. Volunteers are also needed for tasks around the center, including sitting with families who are at the center for therapy and interviews.