United Way Day of Caring
November 28, 2023
Last week we gathered with family and friends to celebrate the National Day of Thanksgiving (and eat too much, watch football and shop on Black Friday). Giving thanks is just a part of who we are at Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods and not just at Thanksgiving! The company and people at Ideal realize we are incredibly blessed and do our best to give back something to our communities.
In that spirit of giving, this year, more than 40 Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods employees, along with our sister companies West Franklin Sod and Cubic Waste and trade partners Kelly Moore Paint and Forest Building Materials gave their time, talents and resources to make a difference at Abbot House Child Advocacy Center in Norman during United Way’s Day of Caring. According to Ronda McKown, director of outreach ministry at Ideal, Ideal’s team and others painted a community room, refreshed landscaping and removed trees during their workday, and everyone went home with a great feeling of exhaustion. Their hearts were full of the joy that comes from a day of doing something for others.
Information about Abbott House Child Advocacy Center
Abbott House is a safe place for children to share their experiences regarding sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect, as well as witness to a crime or in a drug-endangered situation.
Abbott House provides services to children ages 3-18 years from District 21 in Cleveland, McClain and Garvin counties, as well as surrounding areas. In 2021 alone, 723 children were able to begin their healing journey after visiting Abbot House.
Although a stand-alone nonprofit organization, Abbott House works closely with law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, child protective services, mental health care professionals and medical professionals to maintain a child-friendly atmosphere during investigations of alleged child abuse.
Its mission is to prevent, advocate, foster hope and healing.
Unfortunately, child abuse is a fact of too many lives in our community, impacting thousands each year. Boldly focusing on ending this cycle, Abbott House has reimagined how communities can come together, leveraging resources to respond to, treat and ultimately prevent child abuse.
Abbott House has a $180,000 shortfall in direct programming for the year. Unfortunately, our numbers are up 67%, and a federal grant was eliminated due to covid. Therefore, the money will be used for forensic interviewing, family advocacy and medical assessments. When a child advocacy center isn’t available, children are forced to tell their stories of abuse up to a dozen times, which is traumatizing each time. At Abbott House, they work with law officials and only have to tell theirstory once.
Services to the community
- Family advocacy
Family advocates assist families through the course of the investigation and afterward
- Medical assessments
Medical assessments are provided to every child and range in scope depending on the nature of the abuse allegation.
- Forensic interviews
Forensic interviews are a vital component of our programming. At the request of law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) Child Protective Services, a specially trained forensic interviewer conducts a neutral, court defensible interview in a child friendly environment.
- Educational outreach
Safety in Action (SIA) equips adults with the knowledge they need to recognize signs of child abuse and how to respond to disclosures. Presentations are free of charge to schools, churches, civic groups and other child-serving organizations. Learn about our new innovative program to teach children online safety: “alrt!”. This interactive curriculum is for students 5th-12th grade and is being taught in schools within our community.
If you would like more information on Abbott House, visit www.abbott-house.org.