Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour
Saturday, May 18, 2013
October 11, 12, & 13 2013 - Fri & Sat 10 AM to 5 PM - Sun Noon to 5 PM
Press Release from SML Charity Home Tour
June 18, 2012
For more information, contact Jerry or Ferne Hale, 721-7222, firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center to get important boost from Charity Home Tour
If you visited Kroger or the library in Westlake or Rocky Mount during April, chances are you received one of the 1,500 blue ribbon pins or stickers given out as part of a child abuse awareness campaign organized by the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center (SVCAC).
SVCAC is a non-profit organization which offers services that address child safety and wellness. These include Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), specially trained volunteers who are court-ordered to investigate, monitor and report findings to the Judge on issues of safety and permanency for abused and neglected children. The Center also houses meeting facilities for the Child Abuse Review Team (CART), made up of representatives from the medical community, the Department of Social Services, law enforcement, clinicians, schools, the commonwealth attorney’s office, probation and parole, victim advocacy, and other baseline support services.. This group gathers twice a month to conduct comprehensive case management, in some cases spanning a period of 2-3 years, and work collaboratively to coordinate all aspects of a case.
The SVAC building, located at 300 South Main in Rocky Mount, offers a medical examination room and an interview room which allow children to be seen immediately by forensically-trained interviewers and nurses who gather evidence and audiotape the child's account for later use in court. This important step precludes additional trauma from children having to tell and re-tell the details of painful and upsetting incidents.
SVCAC also offers an educational program, “What about the Children?” (WATCH), which teaches separating or divorcing parents how to respond in a healthy way to their children's concerns and questions. This program is frequently court-ordered but anyone is welcome to come and learn skills to communicate without placing blame in conflict situations.
Moreover, SVCAC operates other services that support the mission of the Child Advocacy Center, including the Sonny Tree program to collect gifts to children and families in need during the holidays and the Jolly Jackets program that assists individuals or families in need of coats, hats and gloves free of charge during the winter months. Community education programs and parent-child assessment services are offered to prevent and treat family and community-based violence.
“The engagement and commitment of our community to provide the best practice of service for our most vulnerable victims is a testament to Franklin County,” said Center Director Joyce Moran. “Not every community in the Commonwealth has this type of response. Over time, our efforts to improve the standards by which we serve victims and their non-offending families show our commitment to providing quality care and recognizing the importance of healthy, safe outcomes for families.”
In Virginia, a child is abused or neglected every 84 minutes. Every eight hours a child dies because of abuse or neglect. According to the latest figures from Prevent Child Abuse America (2007), the annual cost of child abuse is $103.8 billion--for hospitalization, mental health care, child welfare services, law enforcement, special education and juvenile detention.
Child abuse, however, is known to be underreported. The April campaign in Franklin County was conducted to raise awareness for the need for child advocacy in our area. What is child advocacy? Simply put, it is the responsibility of each of us to recognize our responsibility and opportunity to prevent child abuse and neglect. Everyone can make a difference by being on the lookout for signs of child abuse or neglect and reporting their suspicions.
Supplementing the general direct service programs, SVCAC oversaw the implementation of the Pinwheel for Prevention Program® at Franklin County schools. This is part of a national campaign managed by the Prevent Child Abuse America organization to recognize the plight of children who live in neglectful or abusive situations. As a symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention, the pinwheel is an uplifting reminder that children deserve a safe and bright future. More than 2.3 million pinwheels have been distributed nationwide since April 2008.
Students from Franklin County 's High School's Building Trades II class helped build five-foot tall wooden pinwheels that were placed in front of every school in Franklin County to recognize each school's commitment to maintaining a safe learning environment for children. Pinwheel flares emphasize key messages: LISTEN; WATCH; PROTECT; EVERY CHILD MATTERS; YOU CAN HELP!
SVCAC will benefit from Charity Home Tour funding
SVCAC is one of eight charities that will receive a share of the proceeds from the 2012 SML Charity Home Tour. Facing fiscal challenges resulting from cuts in state and federal funding, SVCAC’s managers and volunteers are excited to be hosting the Lamendola Home in Penhook.
The 2012 SML Charity Home Tour will take place this Columbus Day Weekend, Friday October 5 through Sunday, October 7. The Tour, which opens eight lovely lakefront homes to visitors who can come by boat or car, will be the highlight of a many faceted Fall Festival Showcase at Smith Mountain Lake. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on Tour days. Additional information, including other participating charities, details about the eight homes, sponsors, how volunteer and how to become a patron may be found at www.SMLCharityHomeTour.com. In its 21 year history, the Tour has provided over $3.5 million to area charities.