Back in 2003 — 2003! — when I accepted the offer to serve as the Executive Director of Safe Shores – The DC Children’s Advocacy Center, I knew very little about the Child Advocacy Center model and had no idea all that was to come. What I did know was that it was easy for me to say “yes!” to the offer to lead a fledgling nonprofit dedicated to protecting children from abuse.
Admittedly, I was pretty naïve back then — and still can be occasionally, but I think of it as hope! I thought it would be easy to rally people around such a powerful cause and raise funds to do the work. Who wouldn’t want to give money to help keep children safe and healthy? I quickly learned, however, that many people didn’t want to talk about child sexual abuse, let alone all the complexities of meeting the short-term and longer-term needs of child victims and their families.
Despite countless obstacles, I persisted and have been privileged and fortunate to get to know and work with some remarkable human beings along the way.
Through our work, we know that children and their families can overcome abuse and heal with the proper support. We also know that adults can keep children safe from abuse when they know what to do and act on that knowledge. As we enter a new year, will you resolve to take an action to help protect children from abuse and support those who have begun the healing journey?
Join the LifeSavers – Joining the LifeSavers Monthly Giving Society is one of the best ways you can support Safe Shores’ work. It provides us with reliable, sustainable income that helps us respond to clients’ needs in the moment and helps us plan for the future. I hope you will join this committed community of supporters.
Register for Coffee for Kids – If you’ve never been to our building – or even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen our space – I encourage you to sign up for Coffee for Kids. You’ll tour our thoughtfully designed, child friendly facility; meet our team; and learn firsthand how Safe Shores works to provide intervention, hope and healing.
Sign Up for a Training – Over the past decade, we have trained over 12,000 adults on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through the Stewards of Children® training. You can help end sexual abuse by signing up for a training and bringing it to your community. Every adult trained helps make DC safer for children.
The good thing is you don’t have to pick just one. Just do something. We look forward to learning what you do to help #ProtectKids365 – because it all starts with childhood.
With hope and gratitude,
Michele Booth Cole
Executive Director of Safe Shores