• Time to Think About Christmas and Helping Make a Difference for ECCAC Children in Need

    It’s time to start planning for this year’s Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) Christmas programs to help cheer up the lives of children in need and their families. There are many families in our area in economic distress, so ECCAC will again be implementing two Holiday initiatives.

    One is ECCAC’s annual Adopt-a-Family program. The non-profit organization is seeking donors who will purchase gifts for individual families who have been identified by the Center.  Simply sign up to Adopt-a-Family online at www.eccac.org, or contact Angie Harder at angie@eccac.org, (850) 833-9237, Ext. 253 to make arrangements. Then shop for the family and bring unwrapped gifts, and Christmas wrapping paper for the gifts by Dec. 16, or sooner, to the Niceville or DeFuniak Springs centers.  Or, make a 2020 year-end tax deductible donation to ECCAC. Over the years, the Adopt-a-Family program has helped hundreds of children and their families have a brighter Christmas.

    The second initiative is for donors, such as individuals, schools, organizations and churches, to buy a gift(s) for children and teens aged 0 to 18. Any and all gifts are welcomed. Gift suggestions are Christmas DVDs and story books, puzzles, toys, stuffed animals, board games and toys of all varieties. Because of the pandemic impact, instead of having a Christmas party at the Centers for kids that is normally done, ECCAC will be organizing drive-thrus at both Centers in December. Bring unwrapped gifts and Christmas wrapping paper by Dec. 1,  to either of the Centers in Niceville or DeFuniak Springs. Or, for those donors living in the Destin area, gifts can be brought to Amazing Lash Studio, 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy in Destin. The Studio is located in the Shoppes at Paradise Isle, in the section by Johnny O’Quigley’s Ale House in the Best Buy shopping center across from Destin Commons on Highway 98. Also, ECCAC would like to have medium sized Christmas gift bags to go along with the gifts.

    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. The Center’s child-friendly facilities in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, and ECCAC staff and volunteers. In the past 20 years, over 15,000 children have received more than 170,000 services at no cost to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals. 

    For further information about the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, visit www.eccac.org. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. 

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