Last year, more than 8,100 children and their families walked through the doors of Family & Children’s Services for Child Abuse & Trauma Services (CATS). The program’s nationally-recognized team of professionals continues to offer hope and recovery to children and their families in a healing, child-friendly environment. Evidence-based treatment models are utilized that often involve a child’s family members, foster parents or other caregivers in the therapy process.
Christine Marsh, Senior Program Director, points out, “No child leaves Family & Children’s Services empty handed. Following each session, we have a treasure chest where the child may select a toy, book or puzzle – something age-appropriate – so when they leave, it’s on a positive note.”
It seems fitting that during April, a month recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month, 17-year-old Boy Scout Dillon Fowkes selected CATS to be the recipient of his Eagle Scout project. “I wanted to reach more people in the community beyond my church and school. My mom, Sally Fowkes, who works with Family & Children’s Services, said my Eagle Scout project would really help people,” he said.
After careful consideration and consultation with the F&CS staff, Dillon decided to build two new treasure chests for the agency. “I learned how Family & Children’s Services is taking in families who are having a hard time,” Dillon said. “If these treasure chests can make a difficult time a little easier, it’s worth it.”
Dillon’s project would not be a small undertaking. To earn Eagle Scout status he would lead and supervise a team of 15 Boy Scouts. More than 400 hours were spent constructing the treasure chests and the results were tremendous. “I wanted to make a difference,” Dillon said as he delivered the two treasure chests alongside his mother. He also presented Family & Children’s Services with a $125 gift card to buy treasures for the children who receive therapy.
The Bishop Kelly senior shared his desire to pursue a career in clinical psychology and work with children. “I’ve always loved helping others,” he admits. “I’m drawn to it.” A Boy Scout since first grade, Dillon said he wanted to make a difference and there is, no doubt, he did.
“It may look like a treasure chest, but it is much, much more than that.” said Marsh. “It’s a treasure chest of hope.”
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