The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) recently received a $25,000 donation from the St. Joe Community Foundation towards its Child Safety Matters/Teen Safety Matters initiative in schools. The Center’s staff teach children safety rules, choices and strategies for recognizing and responding to safe vs. unsafe situations and all forms of child abuse and exploitation as well as the dangers of social media and bullying. The child abuse prevention efforts also include a component to train mandatory reporters (adults) to include all school personnel. The mandatory training will equip adults to react responsibly to children disclosing abuse.
“The St. Joe Community Foundation is honored to assist with funding Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s Child Safety Matters/Teen Safety Matters program for Walton District K-5 schools. We are thankful for the services ECCAC provides to help keep the community’s children safe.“ said April Wilkes, Executive Director.
Since its inception, the St. Joe Community Foundation (“Foundation”), a private 501(c)3 foundation has provided more than $23 million in grants to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves. The Foundation provides charitable grants toward the civic infrastructure of communities in Northwest Florida with a focus, but not a limitation, on Bay and Walton Counties. The Foundation’s primary focus is on strengthening education, improving healthcare, protecting the environment and supporting local cultural interests. These efforts help build healthy, caring, long-lived communities.
“We thank St. Joe Community Foundation for investing in our prevention program. Their partnership will help us provide child abuse prevention education to school aged children in Walton County. ” said Julie Porterfield, ECCAC’s CEO.
ECCAC’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties and restore the lives and futures of these impacted children. Their child-friendly centers house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, ECCAC staff and volunteers. The 501-C-3 non-profit organization has provided services at no cost to over 13,000 children in the past 19 years.
For further information, visit www.eccac.org
. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
Photo Caption: St. Joe Community Foundation’s Executive Director, April Wilkes (L) presents ECCAC CEO Julie Hurst with a $25,000 donation to help with ECCAC’s important child abuse prevention education to school aged children in Walton County.