Have y’all ever heard of The Collins Center in Harrisonburg, VA? This nonprofit is somewhat of a safe haven to the community of Harrisonburg and Rockingham county. Before I get into the upcoming events of the organization let me give you some background…
The organization began in 1987 after a a community member, Shirley Collins was sexually assaulted. The community banned together to form the Collins Center, to fight sexual assault and it’s impact on the community. The Collins Center has grown over the years and now includes a nationally accredited Cild Advocacy Center. The CAC allows for advocates to be trained in interviewing children of assault, in the onsite interview room (pics below). The interview room allows for forensic interviews to be done by professionals specifically trained in child advocacy. The room in the second picture below is the viewing room, where police officers, social workers, and other advocates can watch and tape the interview.
Images from: the Collins Center website
The other operations of the Collins Center includes:
- Prevention and Education. With five different prevention and education outreach programs currently on going.
- Onsite counselors and advocates offering crisis sessions as long as longterm therapy.
- 24/7 Crisis Hotline
Why is the Collins Center unique?
The Collins Center is special in the amount of services they provide to the community as well the models used in providing these services. The organization follows the national Child Advocacy Center model, which allows for the child of assault to only tell their story once, preventing further trauma to be done onto them. This model also allows for the partnership of police officers, social workers, advocates, and sometimes members from the states attorney’s office. This organization of the Child Advocacy Center comes from the National Children Alliance, which provides the Collins Center with references, training, and support.
Another unique characteristic of the Collins Center is the staff. The staff of the Collins Center consists of three therapists, four advocates, a grants coordinator, executive and assistant director, and two interns. Everyone of the staff is dedicated and passionate about the mission of the Collins Center. That’s the thing about nonprofit organizations, you have to care and find passion with the mission and vision of the nonprofit in order to do your job successful.
Being a nonprofit organzation is also beneficial in the way that it allows for the staff to focus on their goal of helping victims of assault. For instance, in the past child advocacy center’s have been within a police department, hospital, states attorney’s office, and this sometimes can have some complications on success of the advocacy. The Collins Center is able to focus their efforts for what’s best for the victim.
Now why am I telling you all of this ?
Well the Collins Center is having their fall fundraiser coming up on November 9th. This year’s fall fundraiser is a switch up from years in the past having a disco theme, the new face on the fundraiser is the Autumn Soiree. When clicking on the link you can buy tickets or donate to the fundraiser. I encourage you to buy tickets and come join the staff of the Collins Center for a fun fall evening.
All images come from the Collins Center Website