SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – In the past six months, the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center says the number of sexually and physically abused children has nearly doubled. The enormous spike has caused their supplies, like toys, clothing and blankets to severely dwindle.
Hundreds of Shelby County children have reached into the center's toy closet after sharing their story of abuse.
"Right now our closet is just so bare," said Vivian Beene, the center's officer manager. "We just need the outpour of everybody to provide for our kids."
"We've been hit so hard the last few months that we need to fill it up," said Cindy Hutchins, the center's executive director.
Hutchins tells us they've seen an enormous increase in abused children in the past six months. "Different characters, different scenes, different settings, different times and they're all heartbreaking," Hutchins said.
The ongoing problem has led to empty shelves and limited options.
"I don't want to have to go to that closet and say, 'oh gosh do I give them this little thing of bubbles? Do I give them this little book?' They've been through so much they need something that can really fill their heart to make them happy because they deserve it," Beene said.
Although a church recently donated some toys, Hutchins said they need hundreds more and every donation helps an abused child. She said soft toys like a doll sometimes help a child tell a difficult experience.
"They have something to hold onto, something to grasp, sometimes they can focus on that toy, that blanket or that pillow and get their mind off what's really happening around them," said. "It's just a source of comfort."
Comfort for these kids when they need it the most.
The center needs new toys, clothing and blankets. The center sees all ages of children, including teens and like to give each child a gift after their visit.
Donations can be dropped off at:
220 Field Street
For more information call the center at (936) 590-9864.