The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC), which is headquartered in Niceville and works to prevent child abuse and neglect, received a $60,000 donation from the St. Joe Company’s St. Joe Community Foundation to fund their Child Safety Matters and Teen Safety Matters initiatives at the Pierce Family Center.
The Center, which teaches children safety rules, choices and strategies for recognizing and responding to unsafe situations, also has mental health counselors ready and able to assist young people who are in crisis.
The Pierce Family Center, located in DeFuniak Springs, has helped to shoulder an additional burden after a fire gutted the ECCAC’s Niceville offices earlier this summer.
“We so value the partnership of the St. Joe Community Foundation,” said ECCAC CEO Julie Porterfield. “Their generous gifts allow us to ensure children receive therapy that is needed to overcome the trauma of abuse. Their investment in our prevention programs helps empower children to protect themselves.”
In 2021, the St. Joe Community Foundation provided more than $44 million in grants to the non-profits of Bay and Walton Counties and other surrounding communities. “We are grateful for the extraordinary services ECCAC provides and we’re very happy to continue our support of their mission in Walton County,” April Wilkes, the St. Joe Community Foundation’s Executive Director, said.
ECCAC has worked to prevent and respond to child abuse for nearly a quarter century. Since 1999, more than 15,000 children have received more than 170,000 services from the organization at no cost to them or their families.