United Way Meets Goal and Helps Abused Kids Along The Way

They're celebrating at the United Way.

Lee Ellis is the United Way 2006 campaign chairman.  He says, "Our goal was to raise 5 million, 828 thousand dollars. We raised 5 million 942 thousand dollars, and we feel very strongly that there's another 100 or 200 thousand dollars out in the community that we sill strive to get over the next couple of weeks."

While they met their goal, there is still more work. Work to help benefit places like Child Protect.   Jannah Bailey is the executive director.  She says, "The smaller your budget the bigger the impact United Way has."

10 percent of Child Protect's budget comes from United Way. And it helps for matching funds. So where does that money go?

Bailey says, "The non offending caregiver brings the child here."

"Here" is a non profit advocacy center specializing in supporting victims of child abuse.... And finding the truth.

This room will house a police office and a DHR social worker. Their attention will focus strictly on this monitor. And in an adjacent room a child will be questioned by a forensic interviewer. And that interviewer will be someone who specializes in children."

The United Way dollars pay not only for the tools to aid children but the staff to make it happen.

Bailey: "3 years ago we had 7 people on staff. We had 2 advocates and 3 interviewers an nobody was fixing to pull their hair out, or turning gray."

Today there are only 5 staffers and they serve 'more' kids.

She syas, "3 years ago we conducted 327 forensic interviews. Last year, which would have been 3 years later, the year we finished in september, we conducted 485 interviews. As of today, we are about 15 ahead of where we were this day last year."

Obviously as the client list grows so does the need for money.  It's an organization which will be here as long there are children who need it.

Reporter:  Ashley Anderson