By Courtney Marco, Harker Heights Evening Star
According to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas, 185 children are victims of abuse every day. During the course of one year, Texas confirmed more than 65,000 cases of child abuse. One in four girls is sexually abused before her 18th birthday while one in six boys is sexually abused before his 18th birthday.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas’ mission is to aid and restore the lives of abused children by supporting local Children’s Advocacy Centers in partnership with communities and agencies investigating and prosecuting child abuse. Christopher Inman, 16, a student at Harker Heights High School, decided to have his Eagle Scout project be about the center.
“I chose CACCT because of what they do in order to educate the public because they want to keep our future generations from being abused and provide for those that have been abused,” Inman said.
Inman has been a part of the Boy Scout community since he was six years old and joined the Cub Scouts while he was in elementary school. He is now a Life Scout, the second-highest rank attainable and just below an Eagle Scout. All he needs is to earn two more badges before he can achieve his goal of the Eagle Scout rank.
“I became a Boy Scout because I wanted to continue learning different skills like when I was in the Cub Scouts,” Inman said. “I mainly joined the Cub Scouts to meet kids my age and have fun. I started this project to work towards becoming an Eagle Scout and show that I can be a leader. I also wanted to give back to the community that has been supportive of the Boy Scouts.”
Boy Scout Troop 255 was chartered by St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church is located in Harker Heights, and they meet every Monday at 7 p.m.
“Doing this project makes me feel as if I am a big part of the community and that I am actually able to contribute rather than sit and do nothing,” Inman said. “This project symbolizes what I can do for the community, and it also helps people recognize what the CACCT does for its community.”
A part of being a Boy Scout is learning the necessary skills of leadership and using those skills regularly. Inman demonstrates this as he leads other scouts and parents in revamping an old storage area into a new therapy room for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas.
“Figuring out and coming up with ideas for what I could do to help the CACCT was my favorite part,” he said. “I have really enjoyed working with the scouts and adult leadership to accomplish my goal.”
In just the three days he set aside to work on the room, he and his team removed bookshelves, toys, blankets and books and relocated them to two separate rooms. For the therapy room, the carpeting and old linoleum was torn from the floor. They sanded, spackled and painted the walls.
“I am providing them a second therapy room for their new therapist,” Inman said. “The CACCT also conduct community presentations on their programs and can be contacted to schedule one.”
A mural was added during the week of Aug. 3, and the scouts worked Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to put in new flooring. Inman hopes to complete the rest of the room on Aug. 15. Beginning around 10 a.m., they will install a sand box, fix doors to close properly, set in a whiteboard and do last minute touch ups.
“The CACCT is the only advocacy center in Central Texas, and they take care of our youth by providing therapy, awareness, exams and counseling,” Inman said. “They work with the police and hospitals and are always in need of donations.”
Besides working on the therapy room, Troop 255 has done a lot more projects for Harker Heights and surrounding communities. Numerous members of the troop have also done Eagle Scout projects to include: providing a shelter for shade for Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom, creating a walkway for Harker Heights Elementary School, making pantry shelves for a food pantry in Killeen, providing a sign and landscaping for the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, a 9/11 memorial for the Killeen Lions Club park, and painting/helping the Humane Society.
“Those are just a few of the good works that our troop does,” Inman said. “I use to help pick up trash along 2410 ,and every year we help with Food for Families. We also place flags at the veteran’s cemetery on Veteran’s Day every year and then follow up by being in the Killeen parade.”
Inman and his crew received most of their supplies needed to work on the therapy room from donated materials and supplies from the Lowe’s in Killeen.
For more information on The Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas, call (254) 939-2946 or visit them at 402 N. Main Street in Belton.