On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 9 members of St. Mark’s attended a luncheon to support Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center. It was held in the Great Hall of the Nascar Hall of Fame in Uptown. Pastor Tim McKenzie gave the opening prayer of invocation to the large group of attendees before lunch. The keynote address was given by Erin Marryn, a nationally recognized speaker, advocate , and published author. She is a survivor of repeated child sexual abuse and the force behind Erin’s law, a law that requires personal body safety be taught in grades K-12, age appropriate, in public schools for at least 1 hour each school year. It has passed in 32 states so far, unfortunately not yet in North Carolina, though she is working hard to make it happen.
Seated at St. Mark’s table to the right of the empty chair – Diane T., Mark T., Susan L., Pastor Tim, Mari M., Lisa B., Jay J., Susan G. and Linda C. The empty chair was occupied by Suzanne Grace, Pat’s Place CFO, sponsor of the table, our photographer and daughter of Linda C.
Linda C. and Susan G. recently represented St Mark’s by attending a recognition reception hosted by Pat’s Place. It was to recognize and thank individuals, companies, churches, etc. who contributed $1,000 or more during their fiscal year. Our Endowment Fund Interest definitely qualified St. Mark’s as part of their “Circle of Friends”, and we hope to continue a relationship with this dedicated child advocacy center.
On Thursday, October 6, 2022 St. Mark’s generous donations of small toys and books were delivered to PAT’S PLACE by Susan G., Linda C., Diane T. from the Social Ministry committee, and Pastor McKenzie on October 6, 2022. These gifts will be given to the children as they leave the center. This center was also recently the recipient of 1/3 of St. Mark’s Endowment Fund interest designated to local outreach, voted on and passed at the January 2022 annual congregational meeting.
After a very informative verbal introduction to the work of the center, we were given a tour of the facility. Thursdays are generally a quiet day at the center as the employees meet with each other, share information or receive some counseling themselves, at times very much needed with the stressful situations they deal with. PAT’S PLACE assists in the coordination of criminal and child welfare investigations, and provides forensic and advocacy services to children who have experienced or witnessed serious child abuse, domestic violence, and family or community homicides, They provide the resources for a comprehensive investigation and treatment, physical and emotional, under one roof for these children with discretion, compassion and the least amount of additional trauma for the child.
In 2021, 853 children relied on the services of PAT’S PLACE, projected to be higher in 2022. All services are provided at NO COST to the families. It costs approximately $1,000 to provide all four of their core services to one child. This includes a forensic interview with a specially trained interviewer, a medical exam by a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, family support services through a team of family advocates, and trauma therapy with a licensed therapist.