Board members said farewell to Board President Travis Dover at the December meeting. Travis has served on the board for 6 years with 4 of those as Board President and has led the agency through several major initiatives. Fran Human was re-elected to serve as Secretary and Anthony Kidd was re-elected to serve as Treasurer.
Presenting a plaque of appreciation is Lisa Tolbert, incoming President.
THANK YOU Travis! Welcome Lisa!!
Beyond Abuse received a grant from Eaton Corporation to support our efforts to increase awareness of the services that we offer to the Hispanic community. The grant allowed us to translate agency flyers, brochures, forms…. into Spanish, have them printed and then sponsor outreach events to provide this information. Due to our ongoing working relationship with La Puerta de Esperanza , we knew that they offered a free soccer camp to Hispanic children each summer. This camp is provided by the coaches/staff of our local Toros soccer organization. Outreach staff, headed by Charlotte Ehney and supported by Brandon Platt and Jennifer Azzarano, coordinated with these two groups and asked if we could somehow be a part of the current event instead of trying to create a separate event. Hence, the idea for us to host a Family Fun Day at the conclusion of the camp. We had a great turnout with about 140 people. The children demonstrated their soccer skills while enjoying other fun activities. see pictures below. Other non profit agencies, Community Initiatives and Healthy Learners, joined in as well to share information about their services. Self Regional’s Mobile Health unit as well as Greenwood City Fire Department and the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Dept drug dog were also on site and joined in the fun. This is a great example of how our supporting agencies partner here in Greenwood. A big thanks to everyone for making this event a huge success!
It’s that time again folks! Ballentine Ford is hosting its annual charity days sale where $200 will be donated to a charity of your choice with every vehicle purchased. If you are in the market for a new car or truck, stop by Ballentine Ford. You will drive away knowing you have also helped a local non profit. Of course, we would love for you to select BEYOND ABUSE as your charity!!!!! A big thank you to Ballentine Ford for this wonderful event!!
Representatives from the community joined in the celebration of the official kickoff of Beyond Abuse’s new Animal Assisted Therapy program on July 12, 2016. After comments from SPF CEO Dave berry, who funded the project, the audience was given an overview of the year long process by Sexual Assault Program Director Jessica Bell. She then introduced the therapists and Handler/Animal teams who will be participating in the program.
Show Your Strength Greenwood, a campaign to engage men in prevention of violence against women and children, recently expanded its outreach efforts and presented a four part series of programs that included The Man Box, Sexual Assault, Healthy Relationships, and Bystander Intervention to 58 young men in the community that participate in the Next Level Fitness(NLF) program. NLF was created and is supervised by Jamar Crawford as a way to encourage young athletes in the community to not only to excel in athletic competition, but to become good men in the community through various discussions and character building activities. After observing the groups activities for several months at the Greenwood YMCA, Executive Director, Cathy Miller approached Coach Crawford about the partnership. Many of the young men voluntarily signed the “Real Men” pledge at the end of the multi-session series that was presented by Brandon Platt, Outreach coordinator for Beyond Abuse. For more information on this program, please contact Brandon at 864 227 1623. SYSG is being co-funded by the Greenwood County Community Foundation and The Self Family Foundation.
Pictured below are some of the participants:
Brook, one of the agency’s AAT dogs, poses for a quick photo in front of our pinwheel flower pot planted for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Lookin good Brook!!! Patsy Sirman is the proud owner of Brook and will be assisting with our AAT program.
We at Beyond Abuse are plowing right into 2016 and capitalizing on the momentum we have gained in our awareness campaigns and strengthened relationships with our business partners.
Our program operating metrics have increased in almost every area for the Calendar year 2015 as compared to 2014. Child intakes are up 21%, Forensic Interviews have increased 17%, Initial Assessments are up 9%, and Counseling sessions have increased 21%. Education and Outreach Programs saw a participant increase of 48%. Our volunteer recruitment is up 40%! The staff has been amazing at handling this demand!
We continue to evaluate and address the need for our services in the counties we serve. We are exploring the possibility of expanding our services in Laurens County and provide a more convenient location for our clients and MDT partners. We are looking for a low cost expansion space, so let us know if you are aware of any buildings that may suit our needs.
Our Animal Assisted Therapy program (funded by our friends at SPF), led by Jessica Bell, is in full swing. Handler/animal teams are now being trained along with our therapists and we should be offering AAT to clients in May.
Our Engaging Men in Prevention Campaign is wrapping up its first year. Men will now be challenged to continue this important awareness campaign and be armed with an awareness “toolkit” to help them share valuable information about ending violence against women and children. Visit the website at www.ShowYourStrengthGWD.org to take the pledge and learn how you can get involved.
Eaton Corporation awarded the agency a generous grant to translate all agency material into Spanish and then print and share via community outreach events. This initiative is being led by Charlotte Ehney. Our first outreach event was held in December at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church where we were able to share information about our services to approximately 900 Hispanics.
And, if all of the above is not enough, we are now in the midst of planning for our 2nd annual, Dancing with the Greenwood Stars. Last year this event gave a tremendous awareness boost for the agency as well as raised some much needed funds. Visit our event website: www.GWDSTARS.com for more information.
Remember that April is SAAM – Sexual assault Awareness month as well as Child abuse prevention month. To support this initiative we have planned a full slate of activities in and around Greenwood County including a collaborative training session with area law enforcement agencies on Sexual Assault Response. See our calendar of events inside the newsletter for a full list of activities.
Finally, I am excited to tell you that The Advocacy Club, our newly created donor recognition program, raised over $5000 for the agency in 2015. Donors were recently recognized at a luncheon held at the newly refurbished Inn on the Square in beautiful downtown Greenwood. Please continue to remember us in your donations and gift giving plans. Any gesture of kindness, regardless of how small, does make a difference.
Thank you all for your continued support.
We are Beyond Abuse
Beyond Abuse is a 501(c)(3) organization that is working to eradicate sexual violence and child abuse in our community. Our community support is vital, and our partnerships are strong. We are making a difference, thanks to you.