Christmas cheer was spread by volunteers at The H.O.P.E. Center: Bradley County Children’s Advocacy Center as they decorated the conference room and lobby Friday.
Volunteers through Kohl’s Cares decorated windows, tables and trees in preparation for the organization’s Christmas party Dec. 20.
Some of this year’s volunteers had also helped decorate the center in the past.
Such was the case for Charlie Wooden., who heard about the volunteer opportunity through Katie Coker, an admin at Kohl’s.
After volunteering last year, Wooden decided it was something she would like to do again.
“I like helping kids for Christmas ... Everyone deserves to have a good Christmas. It’s a season of sharing and giving,” Wooden said.
Coker asked members of her team to join her in helping decorate.
Taylor Geren said she had not heard of the Children’s Advocacy Center.
“I kinda just assumed the police department took care of it,” Geren said.
She said she wanted to help out because she liked helping children. Geren said she hopes the decorations “give them (the center’s children) some Christmas cheer.”
Before decorating, volunteers were given a tour of the facility by family advocate Erika Cullum.
Cullum told the group about the center’s work with child victims of sexual abuse.
The center works with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office in gathering evidence for cases going to trial. The center also offers counseling to the victims and family members not being prosecuted in the case.
Cullum said she was thankful to the volunteers and others in the community who were helping to make the Christmas party possible. The center will also be receiving a donation of pizza from Lupi’s.
Each year The H.O.P.E. Center holds Christmas parties at its Athens and Bradley County locations for children whose families are having financial difficulty. The Bradley County offices serve 20 to 30 children a month from Bradley and Polk counties.