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Andy Stewart's Fundraiser:

Andy's Blue Ribbon Campaign

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Andy Stewart


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The Month of April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month along with Counseling month. There are many clients each year that need and recieve our help. Without YOUR donations, this would not be possible! So, Please donate today to our Blue Ribbon Campaign! Below is only one of the success stories! Long Distance Care and Lessons that Last Two years ago, a Hall County resident we’ll call “Maribel” had been sexually assaulted by her stepfather. As we see it happen far too many times, her biological mom preferred to maintain her connection with the stepfather rather than with her own daughter so Mom and step-father abandoned Maribel who was about 11 or 12 at the time she came to us. Because Maribel spoke Spanish, she received counseling from our Bi-lingual therapist, Sarynelly Rojas. Through months of work together, Maribel began to feel less depressed and withdrawn despite the fact that she had been treated cruelly by her stepfather and that she had been for practical purposes orphaned. During the course of treatment, Maribel drew a picture that touched Ms. Rojas deeply. It was a park with a swing set. Beside the picture of herself swinging happily Maribel had painted an adult woman. When Ms. Rojas asked who that was, she replied to her therapist “It’s you! You make me feel safe.” One of the things we teach children while they are in treatment is that they have the right to say no. We also teach them if someone hurts them again, that they need to tell someone. We help them identify the people in their lives who are safe to tell. Without explanation, Maribel began emailing Ms. Rojas a few months ago out of the blue. In the time since she had completed her treatment with the Children’s Center for Hope & Healing, an uncle of hers living in Arizona had been found. She had been moved to Arizona to live with him. At first the content of these emails were light and casual. Then, Maribel disclosed. She told Ms. Rojas that she had again been sexually abused, this time by the uncle with whom she lived. She told her that she had reached out to her because she had remembered that Ms. Rojas had cared about her and that she knew she was a safe person to tell. Immediately, Ms. Rojas notified the DFCS where Maribel was now living. She also contacted Maribel’s school counselor. The two of them were able to work with department of social workers who removed Maribel from the uncle’s custody to develop a plan to keep Maribel safe. The agency’s education and care had been remembered, long after young Maribel had moved away and had helped her to reach out and receive the help that she needed at a time when she was once again in an unsafe place.


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