SRTC donates teddy bears to children’s advocacy center

Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 6:08 PM EST
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) provides teddy bears with donations each year to a Colquitt County advocacy center.

The Hero House Children’s Advocacy Center always gets support from the Colquitt County community, as well as Southern Regional Tech.

SRTC program donates teddy bears to children's advocacy center
SRTC program donates teddy bears to children's advocacy center(Source: WALB)

The criminal justice program donated 136 teddy bears to the advocacy center for the 12th year.

“The students love doing this because we’re helping the children. It connects very well with my program because they’ll always work with children,” said Program Chair Tara Rakestraw.

While their students may not be working with the children directly, they’ll work with the families.

Regina Dismuke, Exec. Director, Hero House
Regina Dismuke, Exec. Director, Hero House(Source: WALB)
Tara Rakestraw, Program Chair, SRTC
Tara Rakestraw, Program Chair, SRTC(Source: WALB)

Many of their students have never been exposed to this type of crisis.

Staying involved in services like this will help ensure they’re prepared in the profession.

“They don’t realize how traumatic it is, and how prevalent it is. I hope by doing this, I open their eyes a little bit to the struggles that our families have and that our children face everyday,” said Rakestraw.

“When a child comes through the Hero House, they come here to do a forensic interview, and that is pretty traumatic to tell their story, To tell what has happened to them,” Regina Dismuke, center executive director, said.

Dismuke said this can be emotional. So, before each child leaves, they get to go to the teddy bear closet and pick out their favorite animal. This represents leaving the trauma behind them and beginning the healing process.

Keeping this connection with the school through donations and internships is incredibly important.

“When you talk about an eye-opening, it’s amazing to watch the students. Because I’m telling them true stories of what happens in the community that they want to serve,” said Dismuke.

Tiffany Fox, Program Chair, SRTC
Hero House Board Member
Tiffany Fox, Program Chair, SRTC Hero House Board Member(Source: WALB)

School instructor and board member at Hero House Tiffany Fox said seeing the support from SRTC for Hero House every year is great.

“I heard Ms. Rakestraw describe Colquitt County, and she described them as generous, and what a generous community we have. The Hero House reaps the benefits of that generosity continuously,” said Fox.

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