“A society grows great,” asserts an Ancient Greek proverb, “when its elders plant trees in whose shade they will never sit.” If anything captures the essence of our efforts, it’s that image—of planting trees under whose shade we’ll never sit.
Today, we enjoy the shade of trees planted by many others—thoughtful, caring visionaries who insisted that Clackamas County have its own Child Abuse Intervention Center and who worked tirelessly to make this state-of-the-art clinic a reality.
If the results of our 2015-2016 fiscal year are any indication, those pioneering efforts continue to reap huge dividends. By all measures, the year was a success. We conducted more medical assessments than ever; insurance reimbursements (a relatively new revenue stream) significantly increased—hopefully signaling greater financial stability in the future; and the community of elders planting trees in whose shade they will never sit remained extremely generous.
What does that shade look and feel like?
For many of the children—who enter traumatized, not knowing what to expect—it feels so good they sometimes don’t want to leave. We know that because they tell us.
For caregivers, the shade is equally reassuring. One mother put it this way:
I appreciate how your staff made my daughter feel comfortable. We had just gone through a really awful thing, and your team members were kind and comforting. The Center was a really safe place to be after what we went through.
I think a teenager actually captured the emotion best—in just six words. “Thank you,” she said, “for believing in me.”
Thank you—for believing in us. Thank you—for supporting our efforts.
Thank you—for making a difference in the lives of children and families you will never see. You make a difference for the one in six Clackamas County children who will be abused by the time they’re 18—victims of a silent, insidious epidemic.
WE CAN change that. WE ARE changing it.
I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe that. I’m sure you share both my confidence and hope.
Let's trust that our efforts continue to provide shade and bear fruit long after we’re gone.
Tom SomaExecutive Director