By Tom SomaExecutive Director
Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story. — Josh Shipp
Early this summer, we were visited by Dr. Cliff Walters and his daughter, Jamie—trustees of the Walters Family Foundation, and long-time supporters. At one point, Dr. Walters asked a small group of staff members to describe our “product” in a single word.
“Hope,” volunteered one. “Love,” said a second. “Change,” concluded a third.
My answer to Dr. Walters is “them.” Our product is our people. And if I could turn their words into a sentence, it would be this: “Through their extraordinary love, Children’s Center staff members offer neglected and abused children hope that change is possible.”
At Children’s Center, we believe that “every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” We certainly are caring adults. And last year, we significantly impacted 462 kids, each of whom received comprehensive evaluations during an incredibly difficult time in their lives. By minimizing the trauma these children have endured, we’ve increased the likelihood of their realizing their full potential and becoming a success.
Over the past year, there’s been much more to celebrate—starting with Children’s Center’s recognition by Oregon Business Magazine’s as one of the “100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon” (we actually ranked eighth among medium-sized organizations and 20th overall).
Another milestone: In April, as part of “Child Abuse Prevention Month,” we launched a new signature event called Children’s Center Honors. More than 320 people gathered at the World of Speed Museum to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Center, to the field of child abuse intervention, and to bettering the world for children and families. Our inaugural “Quilt Maker Awards” were bestowed upon founding board member, John Foote; long-time supporters, the Swindells family; and author and crusader Erin Merryn (the force behind Erin’s Law, which mandates sex abuse prevention education in public schools). Erin’s keynote address kept the audience spellbound. And we also inducted 22 individuals and organizations into our new “Golden Lantern Society” for their extraordinary generosity in the 15 years since our founding.
If “hope, care, and change” distinguish our efforts, “generosity” characterizes the support we received last year. As illustrated by our financials, government grants and insurance reimbursements cover only about 60% of our operating costs. Which means that the largest portion of funding for the essential services we provide to Clackamas County’s most vulnerable children comes from generous friends like you. Which makes me very grateful.
The entire Board and Staff of Children’s Center sincerely appreciates your support. YOU are integral to our team. Through your contributions of time, talent, and treasure, you make our every effort possible. We’re honored to collaborate with you in the provision of critical intervention and prevention services.
Together, we’re working to end child abuse and neglect—and WE CAN! Thank you for being a caring adult helping to provide hope for many children.
Tom SomaExecutive Director