New board president ready to make a difference
By Anna Skinner
Rich Taylor became the new board president of Chaucie’s Place in March. Current caught up with him to ask him some questions about his new role.
Why did you get involved with Chaucie’s Place?
Through my role as a banker, I was asked to volunteer for Chaucie’s Place’s annual Treasure Our Children Fundraiser in 2008. I became reconnected with the organization again in 2010 and the more I learned about Chaucie Quillen’s story and how the Hamilton County community rallied together to help prevent child sexual abuse in our community, I was moved to commit further to this great cause. I continued to volunteer and help in any way I could, but when a family member disclosed that they were a victim of abuse, I knew I had to take a larger role with the organization to help prevent child sexual abuse and teen suicide.
What is your vision for the future with Chaucie’s Place?
The vision the board of directors, staff and I share is to continue to increase our outreach and prevention programing to schools, youth-serving organizations, sports organizations, and parents. By reaching more children and more parents and adults who work with children, we slowly-but-surely change our culture from one that is too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about child sexual abuse and youth suicide to one that is empowered to speak up and take action.
Chaucie’s Place programs and staff are regularly recognized as one of the finest in the state, so my vision includes statewide growth to help support surrounding communities diminish their numbers of child sexual abuse and youth suicide. But our home base will always be Hamilton County.
How is the community involved with that vision?
The community is involved in Chaucie’s Place’s work in every possible way. Chaucie’s Place is dependent upon private donations from individuals and corporations; utilizes a dedicated team of trained volunteers to implement its Smart Steps: A Body Safety Program for Children; depends on community volunteers to help maintain its facility and grounds; and – possibly most importantly – Chaucie’s Place would have zero impact on children’s lives if this community didn’t attend its prevention programs and bring the organization into its schools and organizations.
What is your favorite thing about working with Chaucie’s Place?
All adults have a responsibility to protect the children in our communities, and Chaucie’s Place’s work is making a true impact in the lives of our children, which then positively impacts their friends, their families, and eventually their own children. Each child who attends a Smart Steps: A Body Safety Program for Children learns that their bodies are theirs and they have a right to say “no” to unwanted touches from anyone. Each adult who attends the Stewards of Children training learns how to protect children from child sexual abuse, recognize the warning signs, and how to responsibly respond to a disclosure or suspicion of abuse. Each school district that participates in our Lifelines youth suicide prevention program will educate its administrators, faculty and staff; parents and guardians; and 8th – 10th grade students to know the warning signs of suicide and how/where to access help. There is no better feeling than to know you are making a difference in the lives of thousands of children through your volunteer endeavors.