By Riya Chinni
Cherish shared its mission to protect and advocate for children in Hamilton County at its June 7 annual breakfast at the Delaware Township Community Center in Fishers. The Noblesville nonprofit is a Child Advocacy Center that provides free services that include trauma therapy, counseling and medical help.
Cherish President Tom Dickey kicked off the event by introducing the Cherish team, followed by a National Children’s Alliance video and a statement from Wendy Gamble, executive director and founding member.
Gamble said everything the organization accomplishes could not be done without the large Hamilton community team.
“We will need a bigger venue (for the breakfast) next year, which is a phenomenal thing,” Gamble said.
While attendees enjoyed breakfast, keynote speaker Kristen Boice explained how the body reacts to emotional trauma. As a family therapist, Boice sees a lot of it, especially in kids who are removed from traumatic situations.
Boice led everyone in a breathing exercise, square breathing, to demonstrate a way to help the body deal with trauma.
“I’m very passionate about working with trauma. As a community, we’ve seen what trauma can do,” Boice said. “Trauma gets trapped in the body. It’s from pushing down the feelings.”
She said it’s important to avoid ignoring feelings and added, “It’s OK to feel.”
Dickey followed up the keynote with an anecdote about fostering kids and said he and his wife have taken care of and paved the way for better futures of more than 30 children.
“Our role is to attack that moment in time to turn the future around for that child,” Dickey said.
Gamble concluded the breakfast by asking attendees to take a moment to recognize the children whose names were on the hearts placed at tables, kids who would come through Cherish in the next few months.