A coordinated multi-disciplinary response team provides essential services for children in Wayne County that have been sexually abused, physically abused, or have witnessed violence. This is the “worthy work” of the Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC).
The Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Wayne County Community Foundation are pleased to announce WCCAC as the recipient of the 2021 Worthy Works award.
First presented in 2008, the Worthy Works award acknowledges and recognizes the important contributions that Not-For-Profit members of the Chamber of Commerce make to their community. The award includes a $1,000 grant to the organization to pursue its mission.
“I am extremely humbled that we are going to be the recipient of this fantastic award!” remarked Lara Kiefer, Executive Director, WCCAC. “The Orrville community has regularly supported our work and this award validates that our mission and commitment to the members of the community is making a difference.”
The WCCAC was established as a non-profit organization in 2004. Warren Caskey, an Orrville Police officer who was passionate about investigating crimes against children, participated in the founding of the organization. At the time, there was a rise in sexual abuse cases involving children in Wayne County and community leaders wanted to serve them locally rather than sending cases to Akron.
Today, WCCAC has on-call availability 24/7/365 so that when an emergent need arises, staff and partners can be available to respond. The Orrville Police Department has remained an active partner with WCCAC when referring families and then investigating cases that reach the threshold of a crime.
“The Agency’s vision is for all children to feel safe and live in a trauma-informed community, where the stigma of being a survivor of abuse has been eradicated,” stated Michelle Budzinski, Forensic Interviewer. who nominated the WCCAC for the award.
“The Child Advocacy is an unsung hero that is often overlooked as the community typically does not realize we exist, until services are needed,” remarked Angie Giltner, WCCAC Board Member. “The Center offers hope and healing to children and their families. However, it is the board and staff's vision for our services, as we know them today, are no longer needed. This would mean that, as partners, the community at large and the Center's prevention efforts worked and child sex abuse was eradicated.”
The Worthy Works award will be formally presented at the Celebration of Community, Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Program, June 24. The event will be held at Orrville High School Performing Arts Center. In-person and virtual event experience tickets are available for purchase at www.orrvillechamber.com
If you would like to support our services, we invite you to become a member of our "72 Club." For every fifteen $72 donations, we can provide emergency response services when a local child is sexually or physically abused. Become a Lifelong Sustaining Member by donating a one-time $720.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Wayne County Children's Advocacy Center (WCCAC) is funded in part through federal and state grants, however the agency's ability to fulfill its mission and provide its vital services to children also depends on the generosity of the businesses and residents of the communities it serves.