As local organizations deal with cancellations or postponements of March and April fundraising events, some are coming up with unique ways to make up lost funds.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Johnson County last week announced the postponement of the center’s biggest fundraiser of the year — Cowboys for Kids.
Now set for 5 p.m. June 27 at the Cleburne Conference Center, one supporter of the CAC will host an online fundraiser in the interim.
Hailey Hastings will perform live music on her Facebook fan page — Hailey Erin — from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
One hundred percent of proceeds raised during the concert will be donated to the center.
“I have been volunteering for the Johnson County Children’s Advocacy Center’s event Cowboys for Kids since I was a teenager,” Hastings said. “What started out just singing the National Anthem, turned into playing short sets for the gala. I was also given the opportunity to intern with them during my final semester of college, which allowed me to see the behind the scenes efforts that JCCAC puts in for all of their children.”
Hastings said hosting the online fundraiser is vital to supporting the center’s mission.
“The advocacy center is a nonprofit organization, which means all of their services are free to abuse victims as well as their non-offending families, such as interviews, therapy sessions and providing items such as every day essentials, school supplies and meals for those in need,” she said. “The Johnson County Children’s Advocacy Center has also been able to provide many families with total renovations for those whose homes are not the safe space they are supposed to be as well as Christmas gifts during the holidays.
“The only way they are able to do these amazing things is because of events like Cowboys for Kids. Child abuse does not stop because there is a worldwide virus spreading. In fact, as a teacher, it is a constant worry that it will increase due to many children staying home as schools move to digital learning.
“This means that during this time, donations and support are needed more than ever to keep the advocacy center running. This organization has become much more than just a volunteer program, they have truly become a family to me.”
CAC Executive Director Tammy King said she and the center’s staff are grateful for Hastings’ efforts.
“It is wonderful to have someone like Hailey being mindful that with kids not being able to attend school, no places to venture out to and limited resources that things are very stressful,” King said. “Cook Children’s [Medical Center] did a news release yesterday about the spike in horrific abuse cases they are seeing since the onset of the coronavirus here locally.
“For us, the children we work with are already traumatized. When you add the anxiety of the current situation, it is difficult for kids to know how to cope.”
King said having Hastings offer a light-hearted way to connect everyone with her music over Facebook is wonderful.
“I think her response is one of care, compassion and a desire to shine some light into a challenging situation,” King said. “She understands that we have had to reschedule our major benefit that helps fund our operations. We, like so many others, are also struggling to make sure the care of our kids’ needs goes uninterrupted. That means the center stays open for first responders and for children in crisis.
“Like many others, we have turned to technology to help us provide ongoing therapy sessions for kids. About one-third of our kids exhibit some type of suicidality, so closing is not an option. We are rotating staff are striving to take care of them amidst all this craziness.”
King said Johnson County is blessed with many amazing nonprofits.
“I have been blessed to work alongside so many amazing local directors that have a heart for this community,” she said. “We are not the only ones feeling the pressure. I pray our communities will continue to support the efforts of these agencies that all have a heart for service.”
Donations during the concert can be sent to @HaileyErin on Venmo or made at cacjctx.org/donate.
“I know that this is a difficult time for many families, especially for children who are now required to stay at home in an unsafe environment,” Hastings said. “Every gift is critically important in being able to continue serving our kids.”