The simplest of things — beaded bracelets — are one of the most useful tools in the belts of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County.
The bracelets, oftentimes decorated with colors and positive messages, are given to the kids under 18 working with the CAC, who have to take the stand in court to testify in their own abuse trials.
“It’s very hard to hear some of the stories that kiddos have been through and those things, but it’s important work for us,” says Marcia Van Soelen, family advocate at CAC of Kent County. “If they’re on the stand for court…it’s a reminder for them that they have courage, they can be fearless, that they’re brave or even just to breathe.”
Now that courts are beginning to increase their caseloads, unfortunately, the CAC’s supply of the bracelets is running low. They’re encouraging anyone who can craft as many as they can to do so, and donate them to the center.
There aren’t any parameters or instructions, but Van Soelen says they could always use bracelets in different sizes and colors and donning different messages of support.
“Not only is it a way to keep the kids calm, but it’s also a way for them to remember that there are other people that are rooting for them,” she said.
To donate, mail or drop bracelets off at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County located at:
2855 Michigan Street NW Grand Rapids, MI 49506
You can also visit the CAC of Kent County online here.