CAC Exceeds $125,000 Campaign Goal

CAC Exceeds $125,000 Campaign Goal

The Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County exceeds $125,000 campaign goal for the Safe From the Start program. 

The Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County (CAC) exceeded its $125,000 campaign goal, raising enough funds to sustain Safe From the Start through June 2018. The campaign’s official completion date was December 16th, 2016.

Safe From the Start provides free therapy services which reduces the trauma of exposure to violence in children ages birth to five years. Safe From the Start works with non-offending caregivers and children who are experiencing distress due to exposure to violence. Ultimately, Safe From the Start helps families live better, violence free lives which betters communities overall.

The initial campaign announcement was made Monday, August 15th, through social media and CAC’s website followed by a feature in the Daily Herald. The announcement included a generous lead gift of $50,000 from Rita and John Canning. “This program has been a great resource in our community and I would like to see it stay in our community for years to come,” commented Rita Canning.

The campaign received major gifts from Rita and John Canning, Bill Barry, Dr. Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick, Dependable Building Services, Inc., Outlook Marketing Services, Inc., and St. Alexius Medical and Dental Staff Association. In total, 191 supporters, including 100% of the CAC Board of Directors, raised the necessary funds for Safe From the Start.

“I am so thrilled our supporters have generously invested in the young children in our community who desperately need Safe From the Start services,” said Safe From the Start Director, Carrie Estrada. “Each donation helps ensure these critical services continue to help our most vulnerable population. I cannot thank each supporter enough for their generosity.”

The campaign’s success reflects the confidence in the Safe From the Start program. Since 2001, the University of Illinois at Chicago has been evaluating Safe From the Start. The findings reflect information gathered from the caregivers of 758 children who were referred to Safe From the Start, assessed by Safe From the Start therapists, and offered a range of services. The effectiveness of the program is indicated by a reduction in child symptoms and caregiver stress after receiving SFTS services. The program works.

Raising funds for the Safe From the Start program is not over. State funding for the program was cut by the State of Illinois in 2016 and CAC does not anticipate receiving any state funding in the future. For now, CAC remains thankful for the initial response to this funding crisis and will soon make plans to sustain Safe From the Start past June 2018.

To learn more about Safe From the Start or to make a donation, contact the Children’s Advocacy Center at 847-885-0100. Donations can also be made online at or mailed to: 640 Illinois Blvd. Hoffman Estates, IL 60169.

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