Friday, May 23, 2008

Atreus Homes & Communities Donates $500,000 to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy

Georgia's children will be a little safer thanks to Jon Been, CEO of Atreus Homes & Communities, who has committed to a $500,000 donation to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy . The Georgia Center is the leading organization committed to protecting, caring for and healing children who have been victims of child sexual abuse. For more than 20 years, nearly 9,000 children and families have benefited from The Center's services. The staff of social workers, therapists, and psychologists at The Center represents the most significant expertise available for interviewing and treating children who have been sexually abused.

“Thanks to the generosity of Atreus Homes & Communities, we will be able to make upgrades to our facility and enhance our overall services to children,” said Nancy Chandler, executive director of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. “With more than 20 percent of Georgia’s children suffering - mostly silently - from child sexual abuse, this donation will have an enormous impact on the number of children we're able to reach with hope and healing."

The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, a nationally-certified child advocacy center, is committed to a healthy and safe community for children. The organization's mission is the protection, care and healing of children through the coordinated delivery of services. With two locations in DeKalb and Fulton counties, it provides evaluation and treatment to aide in each child's long-term recovery and offers a major statewide education program to prevent sexual abuse of children.

Atreus Homes & Communities, formerly HomeLife Communities, is a third-generation family-run homebuilder headquartered in Atlanta that is currently selling new homes in more than 80 neighborhoods nationwide. The company is heavily involved in charitable programs involving children and has built two new homes as part of ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television program as well as its 2nd Duke Children’s Hospital Miracle House.

"I’ve always been focused on charity work that help children, because they’re the most defenseless of all of us," said Been. “It’s heartbreaking to think that there’s even a need for such a center, but sadly, there is. We need to do everything we can to make sure every child has the opportunity to grow up healthy, emotionally strong and motivated to contribute their best to society.”

The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy's statewide initiative is to train one million Georgia adults in the Stewards of Children curriculum, teaching them to prevent, recognize and respond to child sexual abuse, using more than 125 facilitators they have trained across the state. This training is geared toward educational institutions, youth-serving organizations, the faith community, parent groups and youth recreation.

Child sexual abuse data shows grim statistics. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood abuse exist in America today. To learn more about the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, please visit www.georgiacenterforchildren.org.
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