The Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center's Trauma Therapy Treatment Program has been displaced since Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle in October 2018. Initially providing therapy to children healing from abuse and sexual assault in fast food parking lots or perched on downed tree trunks, the work now continues in cramped and dated rented office space. Lauren’s Kids – Florida-based nonprofit that works to prevent child sexual abuse and help survivors heal – and AshBritt
Environmental – a national disaster and recovery contractor that participated in the debris removal in Bay and Gulf Counties after Hurricane Michael – have assembled a network of donors to completely renovate the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center to provide a private, therapeutic environment for survivors to heal. The AshBritt Foundation is contributing well over $750,000 toward the renovation, including generous support from local partner GAC Contractors. The renovations will be documented in Lauren’s Kids’ new for-television awareness program, “The
Senator Lauren Book, Lauren’s Kids’ Founder and CEO, has been a part of the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center family for nearly a decade, making stops at the center on her annual 1,500-mile “Walk in My Shoes” trek across the state of Florida (completed from 2010 – 2018; sponsored by AshBritt), and working with the children and families served to raise awareness and create change. The children’s stories and legal plights have inspired Book to successfully advocate for dozens of critical changes in law to better
protect survivors of abuse, including termination of parental rights for sexual predators when a child is born from rape. One of the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today, Book’s support of the Advocacy Center is powerfully personal.
Randy Perkins, Founder of AshBritt Environmental, Chair of the AshBritt Foundation, and Lauren’s Kids Member of the Board, has supported Lauren’s Kids’ walk and work with children’s advocacy centers across the state. AshBritt’s goal is to be a partner in recovery, before, during, and after a storm. AshBritt supports communities where its teams live and work, focusing on youth, mental health, vocational and technical education, and supporting communities post-disaster. Through the AshBritt Foundation and the Perkins’ family’s 4Girls Foundation, the family supports projects related to domestic violence and sexual assault across the United States.