Season of Wishes: Natchez Children’s Services focuses on healing abuse

Published 11:55 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017


NATCHEZ — The Natchez Children’s Services could use some help in its goal of assisting 100 to 150 children per year impacted by trauma in the community.

Service Director Cherish McCallum said just as a broken bone must be set to heal properly, the emotional and psychological wounds that come from trauma must be treated so they will heal well.

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“At Natchez Children’s Services and Children’s Advocacy Center, we give children who have experienced the trauma of witnessing a crime, have been neglected or lived in fear of sexual or physical assault on a daily basis, the chance to begin healing,” she said. “Our center provides forensic interviews in a child safe and welcoming environment, works with families through the process of justice and offers hope and healing with therapists who are specially trained to provide trauma focused therapy to the child and family.”

McCallum said financial donations are needed most of all. The children’s service does not get money from the city or county. Though the organization can receive grants, McCallum said most of what the center does is through community donations.

“It pays for therapy for children and families who have been through trauma,” she said. “It financially supports us in providing the forensic interviews and the support during the investigation and the therapy.”

McCallum said the center could also use comfort toys for children who have forensic interviews.

“Every child that comes in for an interview, and we have kids up to 18, we want to send them home with something positive for them to do or for them to have,” she said.

Items include new stuffed animals, art supplies and projects, basketballs, footballs and games.

The center serves children from ages 2 to 18.

Natchez Children’s Services is located at 806 N. Union St. To donate a toy, drop it off at the center, McCallum said.

McCallum said people interested in donating could mail a check to the office or bring it by.

“Healing trauma benefits the community in the long run,” McCallum said. “We are stopping trauma in its tracks and providing healing.”