Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County needs donations of stuffed animals, other supplies

“We are asking for the community who would like to get involved or donate to donate new or never-been- used stuffed animals to the center.”
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:45 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County is in need of donations of stuffed animals and other essential items for children in need.

The center serves kids who have suffered through abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, witness to a violent crime, drug exposure, or domestic violence.

“We want to become a child-friendly location where they can receive all the services that they need, like a forensic interview, to tell their story, family advocacy for their family members medical care if they need it, therapy for them and their family members ... and all of this is free of charge for them,” says Emily Taylor.

“Stuffed animal and this blanket is really a sense of comfort and safety for these kids. It’s tangible things that they can take home with them that is theirs,” says Taylor

Taylor says it’s a great symbol of change that they are going to have coming into the center and the help they will receive.

“We are asking for the community who would like to get involved or donate to donate new or never-been- used stuffed animals to the center.”

The center is also in need of other essentials.

“Things like toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner. Baby supplies like baby lotion or shampoo, backpacks and school supplies since we’re kind of moving into summer and they’ll eventually go back to school, those are also good items.”

The center is also focusing on bringing more awareness to the community on how to treat and help a child who shows symptoms and signs of trauma.

“The main thing to remember is that one in ten children will be sexually abused by their eighteenth birthday and when that happens to a child it is something that has happened to them, and sometimes their behavior will portray that something has happened to me,” she said.

Darlene Marshall is the person who informs teachers on how to care for students who show signs of trauma.

“Children whose brains are still developing their behavior will communicate that story in ways that are sometimes quiet, a change in grades, or anger.”

She has trained over 1000 teachers in Smith County on how to be trauma informed.

“It just gives our teachers and our community a chance to understand that behavior is communication and children are communicating to us that something has happened to them and how to really know what to do.”

The center is now hoping to inform more teachers and schools on how to be trauma informed.

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