A pandemic this past year has been difficult for everyone, but especially for someone who is seeking help. Agencies like the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center
have been impacted by COVID-19, with Emerald Coast seeing 30% fewer cases in 2020.
To support this mission, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center is one of four centers in Northwest Florida to receive grants from the Gulf Power Foundation. The four centers are Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Gulf Coast Kids House, Santa Rosa Kids House and Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. The Foundation is donating $100,000 to support the four center’s efforts throughout Northwest Florida.
“Even though the numbers may have dropped slightly in 2020, the need is still there. What changed was the pandemic made it difficult to provide services,” said Julie Porterfield, executive director for Emerald Coast. “We are so grateful for this gift from Gulf Power. It will help us to continue to meet the critical needs of the children in our community.”
The center helped 580 children in 2020, providing critical services for child abuse victims – mental health counseling, referrals to community services, advocacy – restoring childhoods often lost to abuse. The center serves on average 700 children a year and has seen a return to normal levels as society began returning to some version of normal in 2021.
“Agencies likes the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center provide a critical need in our community, helping victims of sexual violence and child abuse,” said Sandy Sims, executive director for the Gulf Power Foundation. “The Gulf Power Foundation is proud to be able to assist them in their work. It’s just one of many ways we seek to support our communities in Northwest Florida.”
“Our agency is so grateful to the Gulf Power Foundation,” Porterfield said. “This grant will allow us to continue to provide mental health counseling and prevention education for children in Okaloosa and Walton counties.”
The Gulf Power Foundation has operated for 30 years as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, partnering and investing in communities throughout Northwest Florida. The Foundation is one of the region’s largest corporate foundations, funded entirely through resources independent of Gulf Power’s customers. Learn more about the Foundation and its quarterly grant program here: https://www.gulfpowerfoundation.com/
Photo Caption: (L-R) Jasie Landeros, Kelly Kugler, Bernard Johnson, Julie Porterfield, Nautica Caswell and D’Nasa Jones