Kloeckner’s Shreveport (SHV) branch has started a donation drive for the Gingerbread House, a children’s advocacy center serving Bossier/Caddo, Louisiana. Inspired by the KloecknerCares program, the SHV branch decided to collect various items that the center needs. These include essentials like DVD-Rs for the forensic interviews and fun items like toys for the kids to play with.
“Everyone here at the SHV branch jumped on board immediately!” said Rachel Lexow, a receptionist at the Kloeckner SHV branch. “The KloecknerCares program gave me the foundation and after discussing how it works with Bonnie Stewart I just took the idea and ran with it.
The Gingerbread House provides a variety of services for children who have been victims of abuse. It works closely with local law enforcement, child protective services, the district attorney’s offices, and both medical and mental health professionals. They start with forensic interviews with the children conducted by trained child interviewers. These help law enforcement conduct investigations of sexual and extreme physical abuse by documenting the victim’s verbal testimony, which is necessary for criminal prosecution and related proceedings.
The Gingerbread House also offers counseling services for the children and their non-offending caregivers by licensed professional counselors at no cost to the victim’s family. This helps with the healing process, and the center sees an average of 50 children per month for these counseling services. They also offer educational support groups for both child victims and their non-offending family members year-round, and they coordinate annual outreach programs in the area to provide community education and prevention services.
“When I heard about the KloecknerCares program, I knew instantly we needed to help The Gingerbread House,” Lexow explains. “Too often on the news, you hear about horrible things happening to poor innocent children, and you just wish there was something you could do. This is how we can all help! Children are our future and The Gingerbread house helps them heal and get past traumatic abuse experiences. “