Crockett's Kalin's Center opens new building - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Crockett's Kalin's Center opens new building

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CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) -

There are 68 child advocacy centers in the state of Texas. Crockett's Kalin's center has been helping children for 12 years without its own space, but today is different.

"It's a big accomplishment," said Kalin's Center Director Debbie McCall. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders."

Over the past 12 years, the center has been operating first out of Lovelady and then out of a CPA office in Crockett. It was McCall's vision to get the new building.

"It's not about me, it's not about our board, it's not about our employees," McCall said. "It's about the children and our community stood up and said we are going to take care of them."

A $106,000 grant from the Temple Foundation, $20,000 in renovations and countless donations made it possible.

Getting to this point wasn't easy. In July countless donations were destroyed when vandals broke into a storage room and covered them in ink toner.

"It did set us back some, but the community stepped up and then it didn't," said McCall. "The community stepped up and now we have all this. Everything in here was donated, everything."

 Their new place gives them a private interview room and family room.

The local community is happy to see this development.

"It's usually a tragic situation and to make the child feel comfortable enough when they come in and tell their story and you need a story like this and not a small confined," said Dr. John McCall.

"It's been incredible to have Kalin's center," said Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar. "It's important to have one locally so if anything happens to a child, you can set up an interview as quickly as possible."

"It's more comfortable and of course we want them to feel more comfortable if their having to talk about one of the most uncomfortable things in their life," said Crockett Police Chief Buddy Cross.

Comfort that Kalin's center is more than happy to provide.

With a new home, McCall says the group recently received a grant for a mobile interview kit that they will allow counselors to travel to victim's homes and other places.

Even with the grants and donations, Kalin's center is always looking for more funds to continue their mission.

Saturday Sept.28 is their annual fashion show fundraiser. There will be a catered lunch and fashion show with all the funds from the event going to the center to help in the fight against child abuse.

 A young lady who has experienced what many of the victims at the Kalin's Center have gone through will be the guest speaker.

"She's 17 and she has gone through all of the child abuse and the trauma all her life," McCall said. "She wanted to tell her story, and no one believed her when she first came out with the allegations."

Tickets are $35.

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