Advocating for kids wins Slocomb teen “Silent Heroes” award
SLOCOMB, Ala. (WTVY) - At age 15, the biggest focus for many teens might be getting their learner’s permit. For Evie Smith, Miss Tuscaloosa’s Outstanding Teen 2022, it’s running a business, performing with her school’s majorette team, and, of course, managing all the responsibilities that come with the crown.
“One of the biggest aspects is having a social impact initiative, and mine is ‘ACT’ which stands for Advocating for Children of Trauma. From that point, I went into my community to see where I could help and what organizations benefit children who have been through trauma, and I got involved with the Child Advocacy Center and the Exchange Center for Child Abuse and Prevention,” Smith explains.
The two centers provide support and resources for those who have endured the unimaginable. Evie understands just how vital their services are.
“I actually endured childhood trauma,” Smith says, “and I went to both of those organizations and they helped me get over my trauma and process through it, to where I could become a functioning person in society and help other children who have been through the same difficulties and trauma. Those two organizations have played a huge role in my life ever since I was a young girl.”
From toy donations to volunteering at fundraising events, Evie even helped with general maintenance around the center. Still, she wanted to do more.
“I was thinking ‘How could I help the Exchange Center? What could I do to really help them?’ That is when I went to my business and I thought bracelets could be a great way,” Smith says, “everyone loves wearing bracelets, they’re cute they’re easy and they’re trendy and so that could be a great way to not only raise the money but also get the awareness out there that childhood trauma is a very real thing. I was making bracelets in the car, watching movies, with my family, with my friends, I was always making these bracelets.”
Each bracelet says “ACT,” an acronym for ‘advocate for children of trauma,’ and it also encourages those who wear it to be a difference in a child’s life. The idea was a hit.
“My initial goal was to raise $1000 through these bracelets. The first night I started making them I invited over a couple of friends, and I realized it was going to be a lot more work than I expected- Through donations and through bracelets I ended up being able to give over $4000 dollars to the exchange center,” Smith says.
After going through her own healing process, Evie says she will continue to offer a helping hand to those who need it most.
“Find a support team and lean on them. They will get you through to the other side. Whether it be your family, whether it be your best friend and I highly encourage getting into an organization like the exchange center or CAC and getting a counselor, getting help,” Smith says, “those are going to be the people who are going to bring you through to the other side.”
Although Evie has exceeded her initial goal of $1000 in donations, she continues to make and sell ACT bracelets.
You can find a link to her website HERE.
To find out more about the Child Advocacy Center, click HERE. To find out more about the Exchange Center for Childhood Abuse and Prevention, click HERE.
100% of the proceeds of Evie’s bracelets continue to benefit these organizations.
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