Special to the Daily News
The Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center recently received a generous donation from a local club. The Pineville Lions Club has donated $3,000 to the center.
The Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center provides confidential services to victimized children and compassionate support to non-offending parents and or caregivers.
“Staff embraces this commission and provides coordinated responses for addressing neglect, and the mental, emotional, and physical needs of children,” said Executive Director, Gina Johnson.
Parenting classes, counseling services, referrals for additional services are provided for non-offending parents or caregivers. A multidisciplinary approach is in place to investigate child abuse cases. School education programs and services are offered and provided upon request to the Bell County School District and the Middleboro and Pineville Independent school districts.
“To date, Ray of Hope is providing education and prevention services to approximately 1,500 students in Bell County,” said Johnson.
Forensic Interviews and counseling services are provided at the center and include the interviewer, members of the investigative team including law enforcement and social services. To provide an even more comprehensive program Ray of Hope contracts with Cornerstone Christian Counseling Services who provides counseling services to non-offending family members, court ordered (whose children have been removed from home), and interested participants at both the Pineville and Middlesboro sites.
Children cannot protect themselves. They must depend on adults around them to keep them safe. Often, people fail to make a report. After a serious injury or even death of a child, family members, neighbors, friends and even professionals state “that they knew something was wrong,” but did not make a report.
“It is your duty to report suspected abuse or neglect,” said Johnson. “Persons who intentionally fail to report could be found guilty and face a misdemeanor”, she said.
Services are provided to all victimized children from birth to age 17, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, culture, social- economics, and educational levels. Referrals are made by Law Enforcement, Social Services, courts, schools, and are often are requested by a caregiver.
Philanthropy plays a significant role for the Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center. Over the last year, contributions from community residents and agencies have provided resources to help the Ray of Hope become one of the highest regarded centers in the area. Because Ray of Hope is so indebted to its many benefactors, recognition for their gifts is a top priority.
The Ray of Hope Sunbeams was created to recognize donors who have made and hopefully continue to make significant contributions. It is a society of people who share in Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center goals of providing immediate and the most effective services for abused and neglected children in Bell County.
Supporting the efforts of Ray of Hope and becoming a Ray of Hope Sunbeam as the Lions Club has, confirms commitment and opportunities for healing among victimized and neglected children.
The Sunbeams recognize all donors who have given to then center. The recognition level is based on pledge commitment or the gift. If folks are interested in giving to the Ray of Hope please contact Johnson.
The Ray of Hope scheduled hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Should you have questions regarding please call the center at 606-654-2155 or email email@example.com.