PADUCAH, KY – As part of Child Abuse Awareness Month in April, staff members from Four Rivers Behavioral Health collected more than 100 stuffed animals and this week donated them to the McCracken County Family Court.
“In cases of child abuse, children are often placed with relatives or in out of home care.” Said Samantha Powell, a prevention specialist at Four Rivers Behavioral Health.
She went on, “A simple stuffed animal can make all the difference in the world to a scared child in a tough situation. It’s a great way to give them a little comfort.”
Powell and Allison Clark, program director for the agency’s First Steps program, spearheaded the stuffed animal drive. During the month of April, they placed collection boxes throughout the organization’s downtown Paducah office. Stuffed animals also were collected at Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s satellite locations in Murray and Mayfield.
Family Court Judge Deanne Henschel said, “I was thrilled for Family Court to be selected as the recipient of one of Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s community projects.”
Judge Henschel continued, “This means more than one hundred children will leave the Courthouse, a scary place for many, with a happy memory and a new toy.”
Four Rivers Behavioral Health takes on many such projects throughout the year. This past Christmas, the organization collected gifts for seniors in low income housing, including blankets, scarves and personal care items. Each February, the agency collects money from employees to send Candy Grams to co-workers. This year, the money collected went to Heartland Cares.
Judge Henschel said, “It’s great to see an organization so committed to their community. I couldn’t be more grateful for their generosity.”
Four Rivers Behavioral Health is a private, not-for-profit agency that for more than 50 years has provided comprehensive mental health, substance abuse and developmental/intellectual disability services to clients in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, McCracken, and Marshall Counties.