VOLUNTEER VIEW: Brigid Collins Family Support Center works to build families, end child abuse

Brigid Collins Family Support Center was established in 1990 and had about 50 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: Brigid Collins protects children and builds strong families, all in an effort to end child abuse. Brigid Collins helps children and families heal from child sexual abuse by providing therapy to victims, and coordinating with law enforcement, social workers, medical professionals and therapists to provide a rapid, child-centered response when abuse occurs. Brigid Collins also offers cutting-edge, evidence-based parenting education seminars and classes, as well as individual coaching to help parents create the families their children deserve. Finally, because all adults have a responsibility to protect children, Brigid Collins works with community leaders, schools and organizations to provide child sexual abuse prevention education and policy development.

Volunteer highlights: Building a world free of child abuse will require the engagement of the entire community. Because of this, volunteers play a critical role in the success of Brigid Collins families and services. Volunteers prepare meals for family activities, provide childcare, run the on-call service and provide critical event planning support. Some of the volunteer highlights include: supporting the annual Fostering Together Caregiver Recognition Events in June and December (these are events that recognize and celebrate the hundreds of foster and adoptive families in Whatcom County), preparing meals at quarterly family activity nights and planning the annual auction held the second Saturday of each March. These volunteers have done everything from prepare hot dogs, set up crafts, pick-up auction items, blow up balloons and so much more, all to provide children with the start in life they deserve.

Signature fundraiser: Annual benefit auction: March 12, 2016, Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa.

Wish list: Diapers (size 2-4), new toys that children and parents can play with together (i.e. Legos, board games, art supplies, play dough, etc.), gas cards, grocery cards.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers are needed to serve on the on-call line (must complete 32-hour volunteer training first), help at the June Fostering Together picnic and join the auction planning committee.

For more information, go online to brigidcollins.org.