LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — The following is a press release from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center:

A gift of $10,000 from Lubbock National Bank will help provide care, comfort and healing for abused children from West Texas. Bank representatives presented the check at C.A.R.E. (Center for Advocacy Research and Education) on Jan. 6. This center provides compassionate, expert care for children of all ages who may be victims of sexual abuse.

Through its Child Protection Team, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics provides medical evaluations, case reviews, consultations and other needed services for children who are suspected victims of child abuse. The team cares for hundreds of children each year from West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

“We are extremely grateful for this donation which will support our mission to endeavor to create a safe and stress-free experience for our patients enduring a traumatic time in their young lives,” Patti Salazar, R.N., said. “We appreciate all the support from our TTUHSC family and community supporters and are grateful for any and all donations.” LNB’s donation will be used to purchase gifts to create an opportunity to build trust in the traumatized children. Trust is essential to gather information during evaluations and effective in offering support during the judicial process.

“After each exam, the staff will give each child a special gift to make the experience less traumatic and gives these children something of their very own because many times these children have been taken from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, leaving all of their belongings behind,” Salazar said. “These gifts also allow these children to leave our clinic with a smile.”

Some of the presents given to the children include toys, such as cars and dolls, sports equipment, scooters, skateboards, jewelry making kits, journals, nail polish and blankets. Every child receives a stuffed animal, stickers, toothbrush and dental supplies, tie-dye kits, age-appropriate coloring book and crayons or art pencils.

“I am always amazed at the courage, strength and resiliency of kids,” Patti Patterson, M.D., MPH, TTUHSC professor of pediatrics, said. “The staff at C.A.R.E. have an incredible gift of making kids feel comfortable and safe. The environment there is calm and kid-friendly. The gift from LNB will let us help families when their worst nightmare has come true.”

In addition to the individual presents, the Center provides an atmosphere to make the experience as comfortable as possible for the children. In the examination room, there is a saltwater aquarium which calms the child’s fear and helps decrease anxiety. A part of the donation will be used to replace some of the fish they recently lost.

“We accept donations year-round but most of our donations are given to use during the holidays,” Salazar said. “We tend to run out of items during the summer and struggle to find something to give our patients. Due to security and confidentiality issues, we do not advertise our location, but we will be happy to pick up any donations.”

Salazar added that often rely on Walmart and Target gift cards to replenish items when they run out.

“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Lubbock National Bank, Eddie Schulz, president/CEO; Paul Dannevik, senior vice-president of lending; Kim Koontz, senior vice-president of operations; and Roger Karr, vice-president of branch service development for this donation and their employees’ continued support throughout the years,” Andrea Thomas, R.N., said.

For more information about C.A.R.E., call 806-743-7770.

(Press release from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center)