(KLTV) - The month of April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Several organizations are doing their part to help our youngest victims in all sorts of ways. Every day child victims of physical and sexual abuse come through the doors of the Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County. The non-profit serves children ages birth through 17 who have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, witnessed a violent crime or been exposed to community violence.
Before our existence, that child may have had to retell their story to multiple agencies. And that was the whole reason for it to be created. it's a central place for all those agencies to come together for the benefit of that child. The child tells their story one time,"Kaylen Klakley, Special Events and Marketing coordinator for the Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County said.
Looking around, one can't help but notice the wall of hands. Every child that comes through here gets to put their hand on the wall with their name and age. Just last year, the Children's Advocacy Center interviewed 489 children. It's a place where the smallest voice can be heard and children can begin the healing process from abuse. And that includes supplies for their caregivers which is found in the Rainbow Room.
"The Rainbow Room was created as our emergency supply room for not only our clients that we have at the Children's Advocacy Center but for the Department of Family Protective Services for immediate removals, or cases where a child just might have an immediate emergency need as well as local law enforcement,"Klakley said.
The biggest needs are diapers, wipes, car seats and pack n' plays. CAC says having a safe place to travel and sleep are their top priorities for these young children. But they also supply some of the basics.
"We also have things like laundry detergent and dish washing liquid because maybe the families don't have the resources to provide that or they may have had to move their family situation very quickly," Klakley said.
So how can you help? CAC currently has a wish list on Amazon http://cacsmithcounty.org/get-involved/wishlist/
"But also supplies that are used in our lobby for entertaining clients while they are here. Or supplies that might be used during therapy like construction paper and crayons and different things they might need as they work through that cognitive training and therapy with those children,"Klakley said.
Supplies that help children and families focus on recovery after trauma and refocus on the Gift of Love.