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‘Refuge,’ agency aiding abused children, receives community grant from Sam’s Club


WOOD RIVER — The non-profit Refuge, an agency serving victimized children, has received a Community Grant Program check for $2,500 from the Sam’s Club in Glen Carbon.

Refuge is a non-profit organization that serves the children in Madison County who are abused or neglected. It provides full-service therapy and resources for to the children who are suffering and also their families to ensure a healthy recovery.

“We believe that everyone in the community has a part to play in this, and without everyone’s participation, we will not provide the safe surroundings and refuge that all children deserve,” said Refuge Executive Director Erin Bickle. “Receiving the grant money from Sam’s Club means the world to us, and we would not exist without generous donations like the one we received today, we feel truly blessed.”

Illinois is among the top states in cases dealing with child deaths due to abuse and neglect. In 2014 there were almost 600 indicated victims of child abuse and more than 1,300 orders of protection granted in Madison County.

“We loved the mission and work that Refuge provides for our community and wanted to help out through the grant, “ said Geri Thompson, accounting office team lead at Sam’s Club in Glen Carbon. “Our mission is to stay active in our community because we feel possibilities are endless when people come together to help one another out in times of need.”

“What makes us unique is, we don’t just treat the children, we give support to the guardian of the children, which sometimes can be their grandmother, aunt, uncle or neighbor,” said Bickle. “These children are in your neighborhoods, churches and schools. We all want happy and healthy children, it only takes one loving adult to change a child’s life.”

Refuge provides individualized care through these services: Weekly Child/Family Therapy, Parent/Caregiver Case Management and Parent Education Groups. It has served more than 100 families with their counseling services since February 2015, helping many flee domestic violence and relationships and build healthier futures for their children. Refuge receives referrals from schools, police departments, doctor offices, DFCS and other community resources.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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