Prevent Child Abuse Rowan seeking donations for Christmas Adopt-A-Child

Published 12:02 am Sunday, December 6, 2020

SALISBURY — Prevent Child Abuse Rowan tries to make a difference for the children it serves by providing Christmas for them each year.

The organization’s Terrie Hess House provides services throughout the year to children who are abuse victims and it depends on the community to make Christmas happen for those kids through its Adopt-A-Child Program.

The staff collects wish lists from all the children it served for the year and screens families to help benefit those who are less fortunate. This year is different because most of the shopping is happening online due to the pandemic. Staff pick the items and they are sent directly to the homes of families.

The agency identifies what each child will need, and that can include essentials like clothing and backpacks. The agency will also ask if there is food insecurity in the home and tries to provide some things each child wants as well.

Beth McKeithan, the agency’s executive director, said this year is harder because she knows the community loves shopping for the kids. She said  the agency  still wants to have a way for the community to be involved.

The agency is having as many items sent through Amazon as possible, though it still may need to deliver a few.

Though it serves about 200 children during the course of a year, about 150 are helped for Christmas through the program since not all families need assistance.

McKeithan said this is one of the community’s favorite things PCAR does each year and tries to provide ways to empower families like sending them gift wrap so they can do something for the kids themselves after gifts are delivered.

“We get a lot of repeats,” McKeithan said, adding there are organizations that help each year and people who donate items for several kids.

People get so excited about the program they start calling toward the end of the year to find out when the donation window will open.

The case load is down slightly this year, but McKeithan attributes that to fewer interactions with professionals like doctors and teachers who identify abuse cases.

McKeithan said the agency is seeing more need than past years because of the economic impact of COVID-19.

The agency is accepting Amazon and Visa gift cards to make purchases, and prefers them in increments of $25, but will accept any amount. The agency asks donors to ensure their name is on the card or envelope before depositing it in the secure mail box next to the purple door off the upper parking lot at the back of the Terrie Hess House at 130 Woodson St. Gift cards will be accepted until Dec. 18.   Contact the agency at 704-639-1700.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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