The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) received a $60,000 donation from the St. Joe Community Foundation to help with their Child Safety Matters/Teen Safety Matters initiatives in schools and mental health services provided at the Pierce Family Center. 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. Mental health counselors provide therapy at no cost, giving children the tools and resources to restore childhoods often lost to abuse.
Julie Porterfield, CEO of ECCAC added, “We so value the partnership with St. Joe Community Foundation. Their generous gifts allow us to ensure children receive therapy needed to overcome the trauma of abuse. Their investment in our prevention programs help empower children to protect themselves in a world where sometimes parents can no longer.”
“We are grateful for the extraordinary services Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center provides, and we’re very happy to continue our support of their mission in Walton County,” commented April Wilkes, St. Joe Community Foundation’s Executive Director.
In 2021 alone, the St. Joe Community Foundation, a private 501(c)3 foundation, provided more than $44 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. Their efforts help build healthy, caring, long-lived communities.
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’s 23-year history, over 15,000 children have received more than 170,000 services at no cost.
For further information, visit www.eccac.org. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.