When Mayor Kristey Williams proclaimed April Child Abuse Prevention Month last week, SCARF Executive Director Suzie Thien told the Augusta City Council that, unfortunately, the demand for her organization's services continues to rise.
The Sunlight Children's Advocacy and Rights Foundation has been serving children and families in Butler, Elk and Greenwood counties since 2007.
The organization is currently in the process of raising capital to fund a Children's Home in Andover. The location was determined when Hope Community Church donated the land to SCARF. A recent grant for $406,000 from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, has accelerated that process.
The home will provide placement services to children from Butler, Elk, and Greenwood counties that have been temporarily removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
Thien told the council that her group has raised $1.9 million of the $2.5 million they need to build the children's home.
"The bottom line is that this needs to be built as soon as possible," she said.
She also told the council that the funding the city gave SCARF originally has run out and asked this governing body to consider supporting the group again. Thien said three of SCARF's board members – Mike Clifton, Linda Ralston and Craig Sharp – are from Augusta and they serve the board well.