Calhoun/Cleburne Children’s Center

The Calhoun/Cleburne Children’s Center. Submitted photo. 

The Calhoun/Cleburne Children’s Center is a step closer to paying off a mortgage thanks to two donations that came in this week.

A $5,100 contribution from the Calhoun County Achievement Foundation and a $10,000 gift from an anonymous donor, both received Monday, will drop the center’s mortgage to just $24,000, said Director Joe Nabors.

“This is really going to help us,” Nabors said Tuesday. “It means we can focus on our services, and not securing a permanent home.”

The Children’s Center works with a $300,000 annual budget that’s filled through various local and state grants. The center provides interviews with children who have been victims of abuse and works with law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s Office to help identify criminals.

The center began operating in 1991 and moved to its current location on Leighton Avenue in 2000. Nabors said the building, a former two-story home in a residential neighborhood, is a great setting for the center.

“It’s a perfect environment,” Nabors said. “It looks like a grandma’s house.”

Nabors said the house was chosen to be inviting for children, who can often become frightened and intimidated when interviewed at police stations or hospitals.

“We didn’t want this to be a clinical environment,” Nabors said. “It’s important they can come here and feel welcome.”

The Calhoun County Achievement Foundation was formed a couple of years ago primarily by former board members of the local Big Brothers and Sisters program. Board member Chris Wright said the group was looking to have a little more local control and focus specifically on giving to charitable organizations in Calhoun County. The $5,100 donation will be the group’s last before disbanding, Wright said.

“We wanted to make a contribution that would have the biggest impact,” Wright said about the decision to give the money to the center. “And being able to help them pay off their mortgage, we thought that would have a big lasting impact for the community.”

Staff Writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.