On the night of October 23, four non-profits stood before Impact 100 TC members to tell us their vision for a better community. Three of those finalists walked away from the event with a transformational grant of $101,333.
Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) was a grant recipient this year. The center serves six counties and the Sovereign Nation of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, providing essential services to children and families after allegations of domestic abuse or the witness of a violent crime. Representing the organization, CAC executive director Sue Bolde spoke about their mission to keep up with increased service needs by expanding their building’s first floor.
An Emotional Story
Bolde began by explaining that it was a time of day – early evening – when child abuse is occurring at a high rate. “On this evening, children are being harmed,” she said. Bolde shared that 95% of cases at CAC involve sexual abuse, and the most common age of children they assist is 4 years old.
Bolde told a story that her friend shared, years ago, about discovering that an 8-year-old neighbor’s father had been sexually abusing her for years. CAC’s careful investigation led to the arrest of the child’s father and, eventually, the entire family’s process of healing.
More than 2,000 children have visited Traverse Bay CAC. CAC’s multidisciplinary team collaborates to conduct non-threatening interviews so that the children and teens are not re-traumatized by repeatedly telling their story. By taking these “trauma-informed actions,” Bolde explained, the center has achieved fantastic outcomes.
CAC’s Plans for the Grant
In 2019, the CAC experienced a 10% year-over-year increase in the number of children coming to their center. They expect this to increase more. The Impact 100 TC grant will fund improvements to their building’s first floor. They will have 2 multidisciplinary teams instead of 1, 3 forensic rooms, 2 counseling and art therapy rooms, office space, and a special entrance. All these spaces will be designed “to make children feel safe and protected,” Bolde said.
Sue Bolde ended by addressing the audience: “Be the catalyst of transformational change for our children.” The votes were counted, and the women of Impact 100 TC did indeed decide to be that catalyst along with this phenomenal non-profit organization.
Learn more about Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center on their website. Or go to their wishlist.