The Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center raised a total of $60,000 during its Nov. 8 “Cowboy Up for Kids” event, held at Boulder Creek Farms near Marble Falls. The money will help provide services for the record-breaking 275 child victims who have been served by HCCAC staff so far this year.
“We are so grateful for donors, sponsors, and the more than 225 participants who supported our Cowboy Up for Kids event,” said Deborah Keith, HCCAC Executive Director. “Earlier this year we were surprised to lose an $82,000 grant despite our record-breaking case load.
The stress on families during times of economic crisis contributes to an increase in child abuse incidences. As parents struggle to meet even the basic needs and the stress levels rise, children may become the outlet for parents’ frustrations. During the Cowboy Up for Kids event, HCCAC Board President Mike Center read a poem, entitled “Her Secret,” written anonymously by an 11-year-old girl who finally felt safe enough to express her story after her abusive stepfather was convicted and sentenced to prison after she received services by the HCCAC staff.
“It was poignant yet very bittersweet to read that poem as the Center observes our 15th anniversary this month,” Center said. “We know we are helping so many child victims at the Center like this 11-year-old girl, and yet the staff would prefer that there would be no need for their jobs.
Center and his wife Connie, joined John and Barbara Racz of Horseshoe Bay, and an anonymous Hill Country donor to create a fund-raising challenge for HCCAC. Each family has donated $2,500 for a total of $7,500 in matching funds.
“This means that every dollar donated, up to $7,500, will be matched dollar for dollar, thereby doubling donations,” Center explained.
HCCAC is a non-profit organization that provides services at no cost to physically and sexually abused children and their non-offending family members. The Center also offers training to professionals and volunteers, and promotes public awareness of abuse issues. HCCAC provides services in a seven county area, including Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Mills, and San Saba counties. Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center at 512-756-2607 or send an email to email@example.com.
Her Secret by Anonymous
She had an awful secret
She was told to never tell
Of where he made her touch him
The lies he told so well.
All the pain she felt inside
He said he loved her so
A step dad and a little girl
Where was there for her to go?
A place so safe and warm
Where he could not do…
She told her awful secret
Now relief and healing, and a life anew.