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Are you looking for useful ways to volunteer? Do you want to invest in your community, but are unsure where your donations will do the most good? Would you like to know more about the services non-profit organizations in your community provide? Read on to discover how you can make a difference in Rutherford County.

April Focus: Child Advocacy Center
Serving Rutherford and Cannon Counties
(615) 867-9000 | cacrutherford.org

You have the power to stop child abuse. One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. This means that in school classrooms, daycares, churches, Sunday schools, sports teams, choirs, bands, dance teams, cheerleading squads and homes--everywhere you see children, there are boys and girls who are silently bearing the burden of child sexual abuse alone.

Established in 2000, the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County serves victims of child abuse, child sexual abuse and drug endangered children and their non-offending parents, grandparents and family members. The Child Advocacy Center works as a multidisciplinary team with the Department of Children's Services, law enforcement and the District Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute child abuse cases and help children and their families heal from the trauma.

The center also offers a community education program, Darkness to Light. Through this program, the Child Advocacy Center has trained 7,709 parents, grandparents and professionals in how to protect children from sexual abuse and what to do if a child reports abuse to them.

How you can help: The Child Advocacy Center will observe Child Abuse Awareness Month with the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children on Friday, April 21, starting at the Murfreesboro Civic Plaza. Registration begins at 11 a.m., with the walk starting at 12 p.m. The event will conclude with a reception at the Child Advocacy Center, located at 1040 Samsonite Blvd. To register to walk, visit www.cacrutherford.org. If you have any questions, please contact the Child Advocacy Center at (615) 867-9000.

American Red Cross | 501 Memorial Blvd. | (615) 893-4272

Volunteer: Blood Donor Ambassadors are needed to provide excellent and enthusiastic customer service and to enhance the blood donor experience. Ambassadors will engage with blood donors to promote blood donation and set the stage for a long term commitment to regular blood donations. To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, contact Renee Jenkins at renee.jenkins@redcross.org or at (615) 312-8440.

Doors of Hope | opendoorsofhope.org | (615) 900-0634 | 428 E. Bell St.

Volunteer: Doors of Hope needs six to eight volunteers to be letter-writers for clients in Therapeutic Community. Women involved in this program are nearing release from the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center and are involved in classes 18 hours a week. They are not only acquiring more education, but are increasing self-esteem, self-management, self-awareness, emotional stability and goal setting in an intensive, multi-faceted self-improvement routine. Letter-writers would send a card or letter once a week. It is completely anonymous. Please contact Maridel Williams at mwilliams@opendoorsofhope.org for more information.
Administrative help is also needed at the Doors of Hope front office. If you could be of assistance, please contact Williams at (615) 900-0634 or at the above email address.
Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Greenhouse Ministries | greenhousemin.org | (615) 494-0499 | 309 S. Spring St.

Greenhouse Ministries and GM-NO are teaming up to start a community garden in Murfreesboro. GM-NO is an organization that strives to empower communities to grow healthy, organic, nutrient-rich plants and food to feed their families. GM-NO supplies everything necessary for the garden including supplies, soil, mulch, and education on how to maintain the garden.
Volunteer: Community members are needed to help maintain the garden and enjoy the produce. Garden construction begins Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at 309 S. Spring Street. Please sign up by emailing julie.young@greenhousemin.org.
Volunteers are also needed for the next Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry on Friday, April 21 at 8 a.m. Email the address above to sign up.

Salvation Army | (615) 895-7071 | 1137 West Main Street

The annual Beyond the Bells Luncheon benefitting the Salvation Army of Rutherford and Cannon Counties will be held Wednesday, May 17 at 12 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Please email johnr.mitchell@uss.salvationarmy.org or call (615) 895-7071 to attend.

Special Kids | (615) 893.4892 | specialkidstn.com

Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center will hold its 18th Annual Special Kids Golf Classic on Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5 at Indian Hills Golf Course in Murfreesboro. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or to register a team, visit specialkidstn.com/golfclassic.


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