BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center hosted an unveiling event on Wednesday demonstrating the capabilities and benefits of a new solar energy system at the center’s North Kanawha Street location.
Community members, along with members of the media and local organizations such as the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, were invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at which the opportunities available through these types of energy systems were discussed by Just For Kids Executive Director Scott Miller.
“We were in the United Bank building and we were looking for a place that could house all of our staff when we happened upon this house, which had been a bed and breakfast for a number of years. It’s on two and a half acres and it’s just a beautiful spot. Many of the kids look at it and they see a castle,” said Miller of the location.
“One of the things that I was looking at was solar energy,” he continued, detailing contributions from multiple donors, including Appalachian Voices, through which the securing of funds from the Solar Finance Fund was made possible. Miller noted the significance of efforts from Solar Finance Fund Executive Director Autumn Long, along with grants and federal incentives in making funding possible for the system.
“[For] this system, which cost $28,000, 40% of the costs are saved by the federal incentives and a number of grants that we’ve received. We will have free energy for 20 years for $500, so we’re really excited about that.”
Propounding the accessible nature and cost-cutting attributes of solar energy, Miller encouraged other local organizations and businesses to consider looking into the energy source in preparation for a collective future in which today’s children will be key components.
“Children are our future, and we must figure out how to deal with climate change and how we’re going to power ourselves in the future. Solar really is something that I see that will make a difference for our kids,” he said.
“So, what better place to do it than here, where we’re serving kids? The reason I wanted to invite local businesses and other nonprofits is to say, ‘here’s how we did it, you can do it too.’
If you suspect that a child is being abused, be sure to report it to the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-352-6513. It takes courage to speak up.
Last year, Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center:
- Interviewed 286 children who were alleged victims of child sexual abuse, physical abuse or witness to violent crimes.
- 80% of those children disclosed actual abuse that they suffered. As hard as it is to imagine that so many children are being abused,
- only 1 in 10 children tell, so there are likely
- Over 3000 children in Raleigh and Fayette Counties who were criminally abused last year.
- Our four forensic interviewers get called by either child protective services or law enforcement to arrange an interview for a child when allegations arise.
- They conduct an average of 25 interviews a month. These children have been sexually or criminally abused, witnessed a violent crime, or experience severe neglect.
- 73% of the children we serve are under 12 years old.
As a nationally accredited child advocacy center, our four main goals are to:
- Work as a team with law enforcement, child protective services and the prosecutor’s office to provide a friendly environment in which to conduct forensic interviews of children who have been subject to criminal child abuse;
- Provide a family advocate to work with the child and family;
- Offer counseling to those children who disclose abuse; and,
- Provide prevention and awareness training in the communities we serve. Our new Outreach Advocate would love to meet and talk with you about opportunities to change the conversation about child sexual abuse.
Offices are located in Beckley at, Trudy’s House on N. Kanawha Street and on Jones Avenue in Oak Hill. Just For Kids also provides the Stewards of Children program, a nationally recognized abuse prevention program for adults in the community as well as prevention outreach training for children in school settings. For more information about Just For Kids, contact us at 304-255-4834 or visit our website at www.jfkwv.com .