When faced with an unimaginable experience, like child abuse or sexual assault one Siouxland organization is there to help.
"The Child Advocacy Center was a blessing for us at a time when it was devastating."
The MercyOne Child Advocacy Center helps children and often their families as well, providing counseling, therapy, medical assistance and much more all without ever sending out a bill.
"We do operate at a deficit and so we do seek grant funding and private donations in order to make up that shortfall."
Lea Greathouse, Vice President of Mission, Marketing and Foundation with MercyOne Siouxland says the CAC uses 100% of their funding to help provide the needed therapy and resources for children, which was a blessing for the Swinton family.
"From the minute we came here for our first forensic interview until the day she graduated from her trauma therapy, it was a safe place for our whole family not just for our daughter," the Swinton's said.
Their young daughter had been abused by someone outside of their family and they were sent to the CAC for help and support.
"And just helping us walk through this. This process. That's what it is," the Swinton's said. "For us. It was a process. It wasn't something that happened and was done the next day."
Because of the funding and donations, the Child Advocacy Center receives, the Swintons were able to focus on their daughter and her needs.
"We didn't have to stress about it bill later on and have that financial burden," Daniel Swinton said. "It is life-saving in a way that it just we were able to focus on our daughter moving forward and not how do we pay for it?"
"No one should be financially burdened when they're facing this unimaginable challenge in their life," Greathouse said, "and with this resource in our community, no one receives an out-of-pocket bill."
The MercyOne Child Advocacy Center team is always working tirelessly to ensure kids receive the help they need in a safe and comforting environment.
"I think the biggest impact really is giving children one place, one safe place to come and tell their story and to start on their journey of healing," Greathouse said as she and her team showed me around the center. None of the rooms felt like a medical office, instead, they felt more like a place children could be comfortable, and heal.
"This place is wonderful," said Kira Swinton, "If giving is something that you want to do, I strongly recommend giving to the CAC no family budgets for something like this."
Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, a day to give back to organizations in your community. If you would like to learn more about the MercyOne Child Advocacy Center and donate to their cause, you can visit their website here.
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