‘Harvest Jam’ raises funds to aid abused youth in Montgomery area

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Fall temperatures have arrived in the River Region, and The Shoppes at EastChase is celebrating the season by hosting its fourth annual Harvest Jam.

While the festival was rained out last year, the weather cooperated this year.

“It is one of our favorite events,” said Suzanna Wasserman Edwards, Vice President for Marketing with Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors.

While kids enjoyed a pile of giant building blocks and could paint, the adults could relax to the sound of live music while sipping a craft beer.

“We are so happy,” Edwards said. “We love this event because it not only gives the community an opportunity to come out, do something fun, fall and festive, but obviously gives back to an organization that we love.”

While eventgoers walked from booth to booth visiting venders, their money also went toward a charitable cause. Proceeds from the $5 beer tasting benefitted Child Protect, a children’s advocacy center that serves Montgomery County.

“We assist law enforcement and the Department of Human Resources in their investigation of child abuse cases,” said Jannah Bailey, Child Protect’s executive director. “We provide a forensic interview, counseling and advocacy to children when there are allegations of abuse.”

Youth in the Montgomery area face acts of abuse and other damaging experiences, according to Bailey. Child Protect said it sees over 300 children a year.

“Since the pandemic began, 19 months ago, we have seen about a 47% increase in the number of children that we are serving,” Bailey said.

“It’s not just the physical or sexual abuse of a child, but a lot of children in our community are witnessing traumatic events,” like domestic violence and shootings, Bailey added.

The nonprofit said it relies on fundraising events like Harvest Jam to bring in dollars to help minimize trauma and rebuild young lives.

The Shoppes at EastChase said its next event will be “All is Bright” on Nov. 16. The holiday themed gathering will include a firework show, live music and a special guest – Santa Claus.

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