At the fourth annual Friends and Founders luncheon, over 40 attendees – a group that included donors, sponsors, current and former board members, and staff members – heard an update from Children’s Trust CEO Sue Williams on the organization’s 2016 accomplishments and got a look forward at the priorities for this year. The presentation spotlighted the home visiting program, the Strengthening Families Program, and Safe Kids South Carolina’s work in the areas of safe sleep, child passenger safety and water safety.
Here’s what some of the attendees had to say about Children’s Trust and its ongoing mission to prevent child abuse, neglect and injuries.
“There has always been a need for a coordinated network of advocates on behalf of children. Particularly with the focus on prevention that the Children’s Trust has, it fills a niche that no other group in South Carolina does that crosses issues, certainly with regard to the prevention of abuse and neglect of children. This is the leading place and always has been. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long, long way to go in terms of helping give families the kind of support, nurturance and advocacy, particularly in the political process and offering effective solutions to people who are making policy decisions. The Children’s Trust – because its emphasis is on evidence-based practice – is there with ready answers for policy makers trying to decide the next steps.” – Dr. Arlene Andrews, founding member
“I’m so impressed with all of the different programs of Children’s Trust. I don’t think people realize the wide array of everything they’re doing, and all of the legislature they’re trying to pass to make kids safe. It extends far beyond what we’re doing as a gala committee, but I enjoy the culture and being part of a team that’s working to keep kids safe.” – Laura Ros, gala committee member
“I actually have experience working with kids. I worked at the Y for 10 years. My passion originally was for children and their upbringing. Being here today is to learn more about this organization and figure out what we can do to bring that passion for children in a way that can help.” – Laura Ros, gala committee member
“As a mother and a social worker, there needs to be a comprehensive avenue to bring awareness about child abuse and neglect of South Carolina’s children. Children’s Trust is that avenue. It is a positive avenue to bring about change.” – Pat Lawter, former board member
“Children’s Trust is an awesome organization. When it comes to the state of South Carolina, we need to make sure young folks grow up to be productive citizens.” – Charles Aiken, donor
“As someone who has spent my whole life working to better the lives of young children in South Carolina, you can’t invest in anything better than Children’s Trust. You have to start with the parents, and Children’s Trust focuses on parents’ education and helping them know how to be teachers for their children.” – Ellen Still, educator
“Having a child of my own is always on my mind, keeping my own child safe. Advocating the safety of children safe around the state means a lot to me. Being a part of the gala committee is something I really enjoy, and it’s a lot of fun, too.” – Amy Cavanna, gala committee member
“I’ve come to understand the foundation for our future is not just a few individuals who are doing well and have good opportunities but really having everybody getting a fair start and a fair place to work from. That’s going to take effort from all of us to reach others and help all of our communities develop and build up. The foundation is the families, who are key, and supporting the children who are coming into our lives.” – Amy Cavanna, gala committee member