Protecting kids from the trauma of abuse
July finalist

Protecting kids from the trauma of abuse

815 Votes
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Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center helps victims of child abuse reduce trauma through counseling, legal advocacy and other services in DeSoto and Tate counties in Mississippi.

Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) help children who have suffered abuse get the care and protection they need to heal. Under the umbrella of the National Children’s Alliance, there are currently more than 950 CACs across the U.S.

These centers take a coordinated approach to providing care. When police or child protective services suspect abuse, a child is brought to a CAC to tell their story to a trained counselor who knows how to interview the child in a way that does not further traumatize them. Following the forensic interview, a team that includes a police officer, a trained child advocate, a member of child protective services and medical and mental health professionals decide how to best help the child.

Prior to this model, a child would have to describe their abuse to each of these professionals separately, forcing them to recount their trauma multiple times. Too often, this arduous approach discouraged victims and their advocates from pursuing justice.

 

A team approach to healing

One such CAC doing remarkable work is Healing Hearts, located in Southaven, Mississippi. The organization helps prepare families for court, offers safety education, raises community awareness and provides counseling and referrals for medical exams. Since opening in 2013, it has helped thousands of children and their families. In 2023 alone, the nonprofit directly assisted more than 925 children.

This child-centered approach ensures that victims receive more efficient and effective medical and mental health services. It also helps secure stronger legal cases against abusers, resulting in more arrests and prosecutions and greater protection for children. The professionals at Healing Hearts follow each child abuse case throughout the entire process, offering support to the child and the non-offending family members at no cost.

 

Stepping up in a time of need

After learning about their critical work, Benjamin Boren, co-owner of Boren & Hawkins Insurance, became a board member of Healing Hearts in 2019. When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the nonprofit to cancel its fundraising events in 2020, Boren and his agency of 16 employees, along with some of their clients, stepped up to help.

The pandemic coincided with a significant reduction in federal funding, forcing the nonprofit to lay off mental health professionals even as instances of abuse were rising with more parents at home or out of work. In response, the agency worked with Healing Hearts to launch two signature fundraisers. Between 2021 and 2023, these events raised about $100,000, which allowed the nonprofit to rehire a mental health therapist to serve children in need of care.

“Despite deep funding cuts, the caring people at Healing Hearts continued to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Boren. “We’re proud to serve as supporting members of their team.”

“We’re proud to serve as supporting members of the Healing Hearts CAC team of professionals.”
– Benjamin Boren, Owner, Boren & Hawkins Insurance

Along with raising money, the agency also paid for advertising to support the fundraisers and provided space in their office for Healing Hearts meetings. In addition, staff members serve on the fundraising committee and volunteer at events, and Boren is currently acting as the nonprofit’s board president.

“The Boren & Hawkins team helped provide vital financial support at a time when other sources of funding were going away,” said Misty Gray, the executive director of Healing Hearts. “Their efforts helped us continue to provide needed support and services with less interruption.”

“The Boren & Hawkins team helped provide vital financial support at a time when other sources of funding were going away.”
— Misty Gray, Executive Director, Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center

 

Reducing trauma and changing lives

Your vote can help the Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center return to its full, pre-pandemic staffing numbers. Money from a Make More Happen award would be used to hire a mental health therapist and a trained coordinator, two essential roles in keeping children safe.

Help Boren & Hawkins Insurance win $10,000 for the Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by cheering them on in the comments below by August 6.

815 Votes
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Emily
40 minutes ago

The best place to work with the best people!

Benny B
3 hours ago

HHCAC is awesome, due to awesome staff and hard work!

Trisha Roberts
3 hours ago

I appreciate you all

Deputy Javier Iniguez
22 hours ago

Thank you Boren & Hawkins Insurance for stepping up to the plate and giving back to the community with Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center as the staff help bring families back together one child at a time.

Trisha Roberts
23 hours ago

Thank you for helping these precious children

Tonia
1 day ago

What a wonderful organization! The help they offer is priceless!

Debra Richardson
1 day ago

Thank you Boren and Hawkins for all you do for our community!

John
1 day ago

Great people for the job

Lisa Jennings
1 day ago

Boren and Hawkins is totally invested in their community.

Angie Ledbetter
1 day ago

A great company supporting a wonderful cause. Thanks!

Lindsey Boyette
1 day ago

What a blessing!

Patricia Benson
1 day ago

Boren & Hawkins support kids and community first in all that they do. Great pairing of two great organizations!!

Jimmy Anthony
1 day ago

Awesome company supporting a great cause

George
1 day ago

Healing Hearts is doing great things for abused children.

Madison Glenn
1 day ago

Thankful to be a part of Healing Hearts!

Sherri
1 day ago

Thankful for this organization in our community!

Kevin Hutcheson
2 days ago

Healing Hearts does great work in our community!

M Moake
2 days ago

Helping children heal!

Benny B
2 days ago

Healing Hearts is a great resource for Desoto, Tate and surrounding counties! It is a free service for abused victims and their families.

Kim Rodgers
2 days ago

Amazing resource for children and families!

Chris Jones
2 days ago

Thanks for all you do for victimized kids and their families!

Trisha Roberts
2 days ago

Thank you, Healing Hearts!

Rob
2 days ago

Great organization, helps a lot of families.

Gail Eason
2 days ago

HHCAC is such a great organization and have a staff that is truly dedicated in making a positive difference in children’s lives.

Sarah H
2 days ago

Healing Hearts has blessed our community beyond measures!

Elizabeth
2 days ago

Healing Hearts is such a blessing!

BETTY
2 days ago

A very good organization helping and protecting families.

Wanda
2 days ago

Greatest place for kids!

Bryanna
2 days ago

Great place that does wonderful work for all children!

SSG
2 days ago

Great staff!

Leighann gray
2 days ago

Healing hearts is the best!

Kelly McBride
2 days ago

The best thing to happen to out area is Healing Hearts

Jan Moody
2 days ago

Thankful for places like this!

Margaret Sowell
2 days ago

I love being a part of HHCAC!

Jennifer Moorman
2 days ago

What a blessing this organization is!!

Rob Traylor
3 days ago

These folks do wonderful work and need all the support you can give them.

Megan Hyland
3 days ago

Absolutely love HHCAC and the amazing work they do for so many children/families in our community.

Stephanie Huddleston
3 days ago

I have been affiliated with this organization for many years, and I can honestly say there are no others in the area making as much of a positive difference, as they do.

Sharon Tartt
3 days ago

Praying for this amazing organization that is making a difference for children who need this help and care!

Misty Gray
3 days ago

This organization would not be possible with our board members and the staff. Proud of every member at this organization.

Melissa Canady
3 days ago

Great organization and wonderful people to work with. All of the staff and board members put so much time and love into this organization.

Andrea Sebastian
3 days ago

I fully support HHCAC and the resources they offer children in North Mississippi!

Lisa Wilbourn
3 days ago

This is team is making a difference and we appreciate all they are doing!

Ann Lamar
3 days ago

So proud of the work of this great organization

Mary Lee Brown
3 days ago

Proud to support Healing Hearts & proud of Ben Boren as a great President of the Board.

Linda Barnette
3 days ago

I support this great organization! Much needed services are being provided for this area! Keep up the good work!

Ken Akerson
3 days ago

Love all the people that are associated with this organization.

Bee
3 days ago

This organization is a blessing to the state of MS!

Breann Bridges
3 days ago

Great asset to the children of the area!

Trisha Roberts
3 days ago

I am so thankful there is a place like Healing Hearts. The staff is wonderful and I am praying for them all

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