It Takes a Community
December 13, 2020
Although this year has been unprecedented and different, one thing has remained constant: the impact our partners in the community make. We want to highlight a handful of the essential partnerships we’ve had for several years, including Harbor Church in Hyannis and Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in Buzzards Bay. These two organizations have contributed to the holiday season being filled with abundance, thanks, and joy for more than 175 families and nearly 300 children who have been victims of sexual abuse. One of the most vital elements of the spirit we carry at Children’s Cove is that, even after trauma, children can enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives. Our friends at Harbor and MMA help us bring that vision to life.
In the early Fall 2016, our Family Advocate gave a tour to some members of the Harbor Church, after which they asked, “How can we help?” This led to the first year in which members of the community put together full holiday meals with extra fixings, cooking utensils, and handmade cards for our team to give to families in need we’d supported that year. Since then, Harbor has doubled the amount of families they support each year and have encouraged members of their community to give back in incredible ways. We’d like to recognize and give a special thank you to Katie Rose Richie and Allison Warner, who have coordinated with Melanie the last four years in making this an annual event.
Another organization with tradition of annual giving and impact is the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Student Athlete Advisory Committee (MMA SAAC). For nearly 10 years, MMA SAAC has provided a collection of new toys and gifts for children who are seen at Children’s Cove. Every one of those years, like clockwork, they have delivered us a van (or two) full of toys to help Children’s Cove families. The student leaders at MMA have always demonstrated the inherent values of the institutions they represent, including honor, responsibility, discipline, and leadership. They have not only gathered and solicited donations from their communities, but they have also understood and communicated the mission, vision and values of Children’s Cove. By talking about these important issues and recognizing that a conversation is just as important as a donation, we may be making a difference for the future in mitigating the stigma of childhood trauma.
Over the last few years, MMA SAAC has helped nearly 250 children to have a joyful and fun holiday season. Because of the pandemic and limitation this year, the MMA SAAC, and our contacts Joe Malkin, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Advisor, and Student Athletes George Lampros and Lucia Buzzell have chosen to “pivot” and approach family support differently. In lieu of the annual toy drive, we will be sending out gift cards to families who have come through the Cove recently, and, on an as-needed basis, to families who have walked through our doors in the last few years. Our goal is to take the burden off caregivers this holiday season and to provide smiles to children and teens who have received our services.
There is still hope and healing to carry into this holiday season. We are thankful to our generous and caring community partners for their support and for sharing in our vision to create a community where children are free of abuse, have a voice that is heard, and where they can enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives.