Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of being the only organization of its kind in Chilton County to offer support to the victims and families of child abuse cases. The milestone falls in line with the marker of a new one – becoming a United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) partner agency.
On January 1, 2021, UWCA expanded from five to six counties to include Chilton County along with Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, Walker and St. Clair counties.
As we move into year-two of Chilton County and UWCA joining forces, funding includes nine Chilton County partner agencies, such as Butterfly Bridge, with local programs on the ground. Recently, UWCA leadership, partner agency directors and team members met in Chilton County during an onboarding session for the new agencies.
2022 UWCA Partners in Chilton County:
- Butterfly Bridge
- Central Alabama Wellness
- Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center
- Easter Seals – West Central Alabama Rehabilitation
- Family Sunshine Center
- Kelsey’s Place
- Raleigh’s Place
- SPAN of Chilton County
- YMCA of Chilton County
Butterfly Bridge provides vital services to its clients, such as forensic interviews and therapy for children who have experienced trauma as a result of abuse, support groups for non-offending family members and a continuum of care for children and families throughout the criminal justice process. Now, along with eight other partner agencies, essential Chilton County organizations such as this will have access to valuable resources that can make big differences in the community.
Executive Director for Butterfly Bridge Jana Zuelzke said she appreciated UWCA representatives explaining the steps of becoming a partner organization. The event brought her clarity and understanding of the different services and growth opportunities available through the partnership, such as research, consultation, allocations, special grants and the Bold Goals Coalition.
“As we continue to grow, and the need for our services continues to grow in Chilton County, we’re going to need more and more support from United Way,” said Jana. “Not just financial support, but also resources to help our organization and our mission — getting the word out to communities and things like that. We’re excited about what’s ahead.”
The relationship also opens the door for these agencies to benefit from the diversity of programs at UWCA. For instance, Lori Patterson, CEO and Director of YMCA of Chilton County, saw promise in working with UWCA’s volunteer center, United Way Hands On. It connects people and companies with volunteer opportunities and supplies them with the tools they need to successfully participate in the projects they choose.
“As a Y and just being a nonprofit, we always have projects we’re asking volunteers to help with,” said Lori. “I have already sent something in to see if it would be a possibility to get a group of volunteers. If that comes to fruition, that will be very, very helpful.”
Last year, YMCA of Chilton County was a recipient of a United Way Community Crisis Fund grant. It allowed the organization to reduce weekly participation costs and increase its scholarship program for children who might otherwise not be able to attend its many enrichment programs.
Moving forward, Chilton County partner agencies will continue to build a strong bond with UWCA and become part of a close and caring network. Expanding UWCA’s footprint into Chilton County was a very bright spot in 2021, and UWCA is eager to work with each organization to serve individuals and families in need.
“I’m already experiencing the supportive nature of the staff at United Way,” said Jana. “The partnership is off to a great start. Just being one of the new agencies, I feel like everyone has been very responsive and helpful. United Way offers so many things to help support the organization.”
For more information about 2022 Chilton County investments and United Way partners in Chilton County, please visit uwca.org/Chilton.