March Newsletter

March Advocacy Alert
Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center March Newsletter
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National Child Abuse Prevention Month is the month of April. This is a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. That is the 24/7 job of the multi-disciplinary team of staff and volunteers at Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Centers (ECCAC) in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.  ECCAC is a part of the National Children's Advocacy Center non-profit organization. There are 777 Centers across the country, with 27 of them located in Florida. In ECCAC's 16-year history, over 11,000 children have received more than 43,000 services at no cost to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals. This newsletter is focused on prevention and has many opportunities for you to show your support. 

Did You Know? 
There are approximately 1,100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse reported annually in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, an average of three a day. Despite those big numbers, nearly 2/3 of the actual needs to help child victims go unmet due to lack of reporting to authorities. It is estimated that for every one child ECCAC helps, there are two children out there who are not helped.

How Can You Help? 
March Eating for Advocacy
Panera Bread on Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview will be hosting  a Fund Raising Night on March 29. From 4 to 8 p.m., the restaurant will donate a portion of their proceeds to the ECCAC Diners must bring a hard copy, or show an electronic version of Panera Bread's flyer which can be found HERE.
Check out next month's newsletter for the April Eating for Advocacy partner.

ChiChi Miguel
The ChiChi Miguel Throwdown weekend will kick off Thursday, March 30 at Burnt Pine Golf Club inside the gates of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, with the  Wine Walkabout, presented by Justin Gaffrey's Curate. From 6-9 p.m. guests are invited to enjoy wines from a variety of wineries including: Casa Piena Vineyards, Ellman Family Vineyards, Frias Family Vineyards, Harumph Wines, Hill Family Estate, Riverain Vineyards and Thompson 31Fifty Wines. This fabulous event is chaired by the equally fabulous - Ann & Jim Barri. Purchase tickets here.

Show your support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month by participating in any or all of the following events...

Paint the Town Blue
For a $100 donation, you will have a yard sign and a blue front door wreath to display at your home or business, creating awareness in your community, while also benefiting ECCAC. Each package also includes a stuffed animal for a special child in your life.

Strand Against Abuse
 During the month of April, As You Like It Salon (323 Page Bacon Road in Mary Esther), will be providing blue hair extensions for ladies (and gentlemen). For only a $25 donation, or $35 for two blue hair extensions, you can wear your support proudly. As You Like It Salon is donating their time and the products for the extensions, so all money donated will benefit ECCAC. Make your appointment now by calling As You Like It Salon at 850.664.2954. It only takes a few minutes for the extension, so one will be in and out the door quickly while creating awareness for kids in our community.

Child Abuse Prevention T-Shirts
Order your Child Abuse Prevention Month T-Shirt TODAY! Cost is $15 and can be picked up at either the Niceville Center or DeFuniak Springs location.  Last day to order is March 24.

McCafe for a Cause
For the entire month of April Costa Enterprises - McDonald's will host McCafe for a Cause, benefitting the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. Stop by any one of Costa's 21 locations for your morning cup of Joe and enjoy as a portion of the sales will benefit our mission.

Proclamation Day
Please join us, as well as our partners (Florida Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, State Attorney's Office, Local Law Enforcement Agencies), on April 5 in Niceville or April 7 in DeFuniak Springs as we join local officials proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each day's event begins at 8:00 a.m. and snacks will be provided. Stop by to check out our center, take a tour and/or hear about volunteer opportunities and needs. R.s.v.p. to 

Donate Your Dime
Did you know that Whole Foods Market gives 10 cents per bag to customers who re-use their own shopping bags for their purchased groceries? Starting on April 10th and going through July 2nd, Whole Foods Market by Destin Commons will be hosting the Donate Your Dime fundraiser for ECCAC. Every time you shop, Donate Your Dime and help a child in need! Visit our ECCAC table on April 10th from 4-7pm, mention you saw our newsletter and you will receive a complimentary ECCAC blue reusable bag. (Available to the first 50 people.)

Volunteer Appreciation Kicks Off Monthly Tours
The week of April 24th is designated as Volunteer Appreciation Week and volunteers are a vital part of our organization. If you are a current volunteer or someone who has volunteered in the past, please stop by so we can thank you. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities, stop by and we will happily give you a tour and all the info on how to be a part of our team. Volunteers are always needed to staff our front desk as well as assist with all events. In addition, we will kick off monthly tours of our centers. Starting in April, we will set aside one day each month at each center to provide tours and info for anyone that wants to stop by. No appointment necessary, just come by to see the center, ask questions, learn about volunteering or drop off a donation. Tours will take place from 10a.m. to 2p.m. the last Tuesday of every month in DeFuniak Springs and the last Thursday of every month in Niceville.
Volunteer Appreciation Day and tours will kick off April 25 in DeFuniak Springs and April 27 in Niceville. No need to R.s.vp. just stop in and allow us to show our appreciation. 

Donuts for Donations
Freeport Middle School AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination,  is sponsoring Donuts for Donations benefitting ECCAC on Friday, April 7.  The ECCAC will be on location with AVID students in the Freeport Middle School parking lot from 7:15am-12:25pm.  Students will be giving a donut to everyone who brings a donation for the ECCAC.  

Held in memory of Kieran May, the annual gala will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. For this year only, the gala will be held in May and the memorial golf tournament later in the year, September 10, at Kelly Plantation. Mark your calendars now, and get your ticketsMore details coming soon.

The ECCAC has a number of volunteer opportunities available. If you are interested in any of the opportunities below or have questions, please email or call (850) 833-9237 ext. 256.

Chi Chi Miquel Weekend
March 29 Churchill Oaks in Inlet Beach
 3 v olunteers needed to stuff golf goodie bags from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m
March 31 Burnt Pine Golf Course in Destin
4 hole spotters needed for each shift: 7:30-11 am and 10:30-2 pm
4 Volunteers per shift to pour wine on course: 7:30-11am & 10:30-2pm
April 1 Churchill Oaks in Inlet Beach
3 volunteers per shift for set up: 9-12pm & 12-3pm
3 volunteers per shift for event assistance: 2-6pm & 5-9pm
April 2 Churchill Oaks in Inlet Beach
2 volunteers needed to assist with break down from 8-12pm

Niceville Center
March 27 volunteers needed  to assist in reorganizing the conference room  from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  April 4  volunteers needed  at our Niceville location to make goodies for our law enforcement officers from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
April 5 Volunteers needed to stuff Easter baskets between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
April 17 volunteers are needed to assist in reorganizing our kitchen from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
May 18 & 19 Volunteers needed to assist with last minute preparations for our Cocktails and Camo Gala.

Pierce Family Center, DeFuniak Springs
April 6  4 volunteers needed to assist in making goodies for our law enforcement officers from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

We Love Our Volunteers!
We hope you know how much you are appreciated, but stop by our center from 10a.m. until 2p.m. on one of the following days and let us show you!
April 25th - DeFuniak Springs
April 27th - Niceville

Not a volunteer? Stop by anyway and let us give you a tour and show you how you can become part of our team.

The ECCAC is now looking for donations of the following items...

Full Size Candy Bars: Since we work directly with law enforcement, we like to give back to our men and women in uniform. We will be collecting full size candy bars to give to them to show appreciation. Donations being accepted through April 3rd.

Grant Writer: Are you experienced at finding and writing grants? If so, we would like to talk to you. Please contact Kim at 850-833-9237 x283.

Niceville Center Needs: As our first location, our Niceville center is in need of a number of new equipment and maintenance items including a d ishwasher, AC unit, concrete water stops and someone to trim the trees. Please contact Kim at 850-833-9237 x283 if you are able to assist with any of these items.

Auction Items: If you have any amazing auction items that could be beneficial for our Cocktails and Camo Gala, please contact Kim at 850-833-9237 x283. We are currently looking for a fishing trip and hunting trip to auction off as well as wine for the wine pull.

Easter Baskets: In an effort to make the children who visit our centers smile, our staff is creating holiday themed baskets. We are currently looking for candy, small toys, baskets and grass. We do not believe these children should go without because of their circumstances. Donations being accepted through April 3rd.

Handy-person: We are looking for someone to come in a few hours a month to assist with basic repair and upkeep. Most time will be spent at our Niceville center, but there will be some needs in DeFuniak Springs. 
Please contact Kim at 850-833-9237 x283.
Big thanks to our snowbird handy-people, Charlotte Hefner and Larry Gardner. They spent a week at the center doing all the odd jobs that needed done. He is the artist of the following poem...

Thanks to Cathy and Terry Jones of Compass Builders for their donation in honor of Roland Short . These funds were put to immediate use as we were able to have all our screens replaced in the Niceville Center. Now we no longer have birds sneaking in when we open a window.

We love Law Enforcement!
Love was in the air for our law enforcement thanks to these Valentine's Day goodies.
Captain Hawkins, Valparaiso PD
Dispatcher Tiffany, Niceville PD

Sandestin Wine Festival
March FRESH BAKED sponsor

CFC # 28846

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