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MainStreet Foundation awards “$25K for Kids” grant to ACAC

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The Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center (ACAC) has been named the 2014 recipient of Androscoggin Bank’s annual $25K for Kids grant.

Androscoggin Bank’s MainStreet Foundation has selected the Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center (ACAC) as the 2014 recipient of its annual $25K for Kids grant. The award was presented at the MainStreet Foundation’s annual meeting on November 20 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston. In line with its mission to provide the three essentials of life – food, shelter and security – to as many children as possible, the grant was presented to ACAC to expand its support to children in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties who are victims of sexual abuse.

ACAC is a child-focused center based in Lewiston that promotes the healing of victims of sexual abuse. This community initiative provides a safe environment for child abuse investigations and treatment, supporting a multi-disciplinary approach for working with victims, their non-offending parent(s) and other members of the family. Their primary goal is to ensure that children are not further victimized by the intervention and legal systems designed to protect them.

ACAC provides an environment where children who have been abused can be interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer in a secure, child-friendly environment, in contrast to the experience of being interviewed multiple times by those (such as law enforcement officers, DHHS case workers, etc.) who need information. With only one forensic interviewer on staff, ACAC has interviewed 205 kids as of October 2014. The $25K for Kids grant will allow ACAC to pursue advanced forensic interviewer training, add a multi-disciplinary trainer to its staff and offset operating costs.

“ACAC’s behind-the-scenes work is so vital to the treatment and long-term recovery and protection of victimized children,” said Androscoggin Bank Vice President and Marketing Manager Melissa Rock. “With this grant, ACAC will be able to provide its child-friendly interviewing model to more kids, expanding its support to more families who must protect those kids from further abuse or trauma.”

In 2011, Androscoggin Bank pledged to donate $100K to its MainStreet Foundation in honor of outgoing Bank President Steven A. Closson. This gift enabled the foundation to award four $25K for Kids grants – one each year starting in November of 2013. In 2013, the grant was awarded to the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s BackPack Program in the Lewiston and Auburn Schools. This year, ACAC was one of three finalists for the award. For more information about the Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center, see www.acacme.org.

In addition, the MainStreet Foundation awards grants, in amounts up to $5,000, four times per year to excellent non-profit agencies actively working in our communities to help kids thrive. The number and amount of grants awarded varies based upon need, typically exceeding a total of $50,000 per year. For more information on the MainStreet Foundation, including application guidelines, lick on “Community” at www.androscoginbank.com.

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