Children's House undergoing renovations
The Children's House in Towanda is undergoing renovation to modernize its offerings to children.
The first phase of remodeling began Thursday morning with 10 Best Buy employees volunteering their time to help paint walls and install various types of electronics. Best Buy donated a new television, an Xbox 360 with games, and also made a $1,000 contribution.
"These donations are a way for us to offer an atmosphere that is much more comfortable for children," said new director Edith Jordan, "We want to update our facility for the new generation of kids, where board games have been replaced with video games."
The later phases of renovation will focus on updating equipment used by law enforcement, and taking further steps to ensure sure each child in the building is safe.
The Children's House is a part of the Bradford County Child Sexual Abuse Task Force. Since opening in 1990, The Children's House continues to work towards the goal of reducing trauma to children who have experienced abuse by providing a safe and supportive environment.
Best Buy General Manager John Prosinski acted as foreman for the renovation on Thursday.
"We have members from the Geek Squad setting up the computer network and electronics and other employees helping to paint walls and set up furniture," Prosinski said. The volunteers all appeared to be in good spirits working for the cause.
The support from Best Buy employees was so large that some potential volunteers had to be turned down.
Thursday's renovation is just the beginning of the work that is planned. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and The Children's House has various events scheduled leading up to it. So far, fundraising efforts have been a success. According to Jordan, by July 2012, the organization had already surpassed the numbers that all of 2011 took to produce.
The long term financial goal is to work towards receiving national accreditation by 2016. "Our children need the same opportunity to heal, and the same resources offered to them as those in urban areas do," Jordan stated. Services are offered to victims from Bradford and Sullivan counties.
Being a nonprofit organization, The Children's House relies on donations from businesses and individuals to operate.
"In addition to the help Best Buy has given us, we have received about $700 worth of paint from Sherwin Williams. Rent-A-Center in Sayre donated a television as well," Jordan said. "We have also received very generous donations from Tailsman Energy and Chesapeake Energy."
The Children's House operates very closely with local law enforcement agencies. Jordan has a law enforcement background which is very beneficial in understanding the procedures police use when a potential offender is named.
"The average child abuse victim goes through nine interviews, and the more we can do to reduce that number, the easier it is for the child to heal," explained Jordan. As new director, Jordan plans to continue to work towards making the healing process easy and pain-free for children effected by abuse.