The Sunday before Easter, I volunteered at SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now). I know this doesn’t immediately seem blog worthy, and I have hesitated to post it, but I did it because of Precious. While I can’t help her directly, because she’s a character in a book, I can find ways to help other children like her. My volunteer event wasn’t direct service, meaning we didn’t work with the children, rather we created a heart wall. We each created artwork on canvases of different sizes that will be hung in the new Child Advocacy Center (CAC).
They also gave us a tour of the new Child Advocacy Center, which they moved into just two weeks before. I felt like reading Precious’ story gave me the ability to go into that Child Advocacy Center and face whatever facts and feelings might be presented to me. It was a beautiful new space and they were still setting up some of the rooms. While over 20 people had volunteered to help create the artwork, only 6 of us went on the tour. I wondered about the reasons why the others had volunteered, but didn’t want to know where the artwork was going. Were they uncomfortable at the idea of being inside the Child Advocacy Center? Or were they just there because they loved a good art project? It was a great turnout on a beautiful Sunday, so I know the SCAN volunteer coordinator was really pleased.
In one of the rooms, she showed us a TV screen and said it was where they will do their peer reviews, where they are able to watch themselves as they interview the children and get peer feedback. They have a lot of social work interns from VCU and so I sensed that it has been designed to be a supportive learning environment.