Community comes together to support child victims and their families
Throughout the late fall and early winter, Children’s Cove, The Cape & Islands Child Advocacy Center, worked with partner agencies, community service organizations, members of the faith community and non-profits to provide much-needed items to dozens of families and hundreds of children they have supported in the past several years. Children’s Cove’s Family Advocate, Melanie Sachs, had her hands full coordinating with community members and agencies donating back-to-school supplies, winter coats, Thanksgiving meals and holiday presents.
“It’s an amazing part of my job,” stated Melanie “Working with families and finding out what is going to help them take a little bit off their plate during holiday season is a great part of what I do.”
The Family Advocacy Program at Children’s Cove works with children and their non-offending family members get connected to support and services in the community. Melanie works hand-in-hand with families to navigate legal and medical systems, providing connections to law enforcement partners, and provides general follow up and advocacy services for child and youth victims. Children served come from families of all backgrounds with a variety of needs.
“Sometimes families can change very quickly after a child finds the courage to come forward,” Stacy Gallagher, Director of Children’s Cove stated. “Back to school, the holiday season, the beginning of winter. The needs of a family can change very quickly, and we’re happy our community partners contribute so we can support child victims and their families in as many ways as possible.”
In the fall, through donations from the community, more than 40 children & youth were given backpacks, lunchboxes and items from school supply lists. The Knights of Columbus donated nearly 30 winter jackets for kids and teens, and Katelynn’s Closet in Yarmouth also provided winter jackets and nearly 20 bags of clothing. Harbor Church in Hyannis donated full Thanksgiving baskets for eight families through donations from their members.
Last month, Toys for Tots donated nearly 50 bags of toys for the holiday season, and Mass Maritime Academy Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also donated dozens of bags and hundreds of toys. Through their “Beards for a Benefit” drive, the Yarmouth Police Department raised more than $3,000 for Children’s Cove which went directly towards holiday needs for kids and teens. Children’s Cove also received toy and gift card donations from the Cape Cod Times and Cape Cod Young Professionals.
“It was busy these past few months,” Sachs stated. “However, every toy, piece of clothing, jacket and meal went to someone who needed it. We’re truly blessed that Children’s Cove receives so much support from our community year after year.”
Children’s Cove, a department of Barnstable County, has been the Cape and the Island’s Child Advocacy Center since 1997. Children’s Cove provides coordinated and comprehensive multidisciplinary services to child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, witness to domestic violence and child sexual exploitation and trafficking. To learn more visit www.ChildrensCove.org