Membership Monday - New Hope Child Advocacy Center
Tabitha Damron is the Executive Director of New Hope Blount County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) where she oversees the daily operations of the CAC.
You can connect with New Hope via their Facebook page and also on Twitter.
You can also show them some love at their upcoming fundraiser, the Tennessee Winter BeerFest!
Why did you decide to go into your field? I have always been intrigued by human behavior and felt very in tuned to other people's feelings. Therefore, the field of social work seemed like a natural choice. In my first year of the Master's program, I was assigned an internship working with sex offenders. For my second year, I requested to work with survivors of sexual abuse and immediately felt that this was my niche. After doing therapy for many years, I stepped into the role of Executive Director just to help during the transition of our founding director's move to another job. I had no intention of staying, but everything seemed to fall in place with such positive momentum that the board convinced me to stay. It has been a complete whirlwind, but also a great way to step away from therapy and still stay involved with an agency that I truly love.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family, going to church, volunteering at my son's school, and I have to admit that I am a huge Walking Dead fan. :)
What are some events or projects (personal or professional) that you would like to share? I am currently enrolled in a certification program through the Haslam College of Business called the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness.
As for New Hope, we have an exciting year ahead of us. We have partnered with Harmony Family Center to create a continuum of care for the children in our county from foster care to adoption. We have received funding and have been working toward expanding our therapy services and are implementing the first SMART room in East Tennessee. This sensory motor arousal regulation treatment room is designed to help traumatized children learn to self-regulate and be better prepared for therapy. We are also planning to begin a capital campaign sometime in the near future to build a new facility to provide space for our entire team.
How can community members and potential donors support your CAC? By taking part in a Stewards of Children prevention training, volunteering, attending our events, and helping us to spread the word about the services that we provide to our community.
What is on your CAC wish list? Paper towels, toilet paper, copy paper.
In such a demanding field, what keeps you focused and positive about the work you do? I keep an ongoing dialogue with God and try to stay focused on what is best for the children that we serve. I also try to set a good example with work boundaries and taking care of my own family. I have a wonderful little boy who constantly reminds me what this life is all about. I also have the privilege of working with an amazing group of women who make it fun to get up and come to work each day. They are my heroes!