Butterfly Bridge outreach to grow with grant

Published 9:02 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center received a $10,000 grant from the Alabama Power Foundation during a presentation on Nov. 19.

“All donations are made equal, but these grants through Alabama Power, that we have been very fortunate to get over the last few years, have helped us to expand our education and outreach program,” Butterfly Bridge Executive Director Jana Zuelzke said.

According to Zuelzke, knowing the signs of an abusive situation is the first step in helping to prevent future cases of abuse.

“What we mainly do here at Butterfly Bridge is intervention services for child victims of abuse,” Zuelzke said. “However, what we’ve been trying to do over the last year is being out in our community more and sharing with our community members how they can help prevent abuse.”

The Alabama Power grants are specifically used to help grow the outreach program in the tri-county area of Chilton, Autauga and Elmore counties.

The outreach program is designed with the widespread purpose of educating adults, teenagers and children when it comes to recognizing abuse and knowing the steps to take to report it.

“We want to educate them [residents] on things to know to keep children safe, so that hopefully it never gets to the point where they have to be at the child advocacy center,” Zuelzke said. “When abuse happens, it is their [a person’s] moral duty to report that, so that abuse stops for that child. We want to make sure that child heals and is healthy and whole and can go on to a life that is not defined by the abuse.”

A grant last year from Alabama Power helped Butterfly Bridge get the outreach program up and running.

This year’s $10,000 grant will go toward the second phase of expanding the program.

Part of the outreach program pertains to educating the public through speaking engagements, which are not just limited to schools.

“We can come into any sort of setting and do education and training,” Zuelzke said. “It can be in a school, daycare, church or to a civic group.”

Scheduling Butterfly Bridge’s outreach program to speak is free and can be arranged by contacting the non-profit organization’s main office at (205) 755-4205.