Protecting and Supporting Our Children

April 29, 2016

The Willamette Valley is home to hundreds of different charity organizations supported in part by our time and money.  Earlier this year I had the fortune to spend some time with one such charity – Liberty House.

Liberty House is a child abuse assessment center serving both Marion and Polk County.  During the tour of the facility, hosted by Rich Duncan, it became clear that he is all in for Liberty House, a true 110% supporter.   One of the most impressive aspects of the building is how each room is purposefully designed to be child friendly and non-threatening.   The warm and friendly atmosphere offered a safe, professional, and confidential environment for children who may have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse to come and meet the professional counselors and medical providers who are specifically trained to recognize abuse.  One of sweetest gestures to help the children feel connected and cared for by Liberty House, as they leave, is they get to hand select a teddy bear, theirs for the keeping.

The staff and volunteers at Liberty House are created for the jobs they perform.   The deep passion to help children in what may be the lowest point in their short life with extreme concern and compassion is evident throughout the building and staff.  Liberty House is a great example of where local concern, control and community provide services to the children and families of our region.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation they rely upon the generous support of the community to operate.

Which brings me to this past Saturday evening.  I had the privilege of attending the Chef’s for Liberty House fund raiser.  It was at the Salem Convention Center and the room was packed.  It was an amazing evening sponsored by private businesses and included the traditional silent and live auctions, and of course fabulous food.   I was astounded at the generosity of those in attendance, over $85,000 was raised in the live auction alone.   The evening was a huge success and it makes me proud to be part of a community that cares so deeply for children and families.

It is quite the paradox to be happy about raising money for one of the most awful offenses against anyone, especially against children – that of abuse; whether physical, emotional or sexual.  As Alison Kelly, CEO of Liberty House has said more than once – the best day for me will be the day when there are no children in need of our services, and until then we at Liberty House will give our all to help the children who come through our doors.

Working together is a trade mark of the communities in the Willamette Valley.  We have a special way to solve problems and provide opportunities, and Liberty House is a success story worth sharing.  If you are not familiar with Liberty House, I urge you to become acquainted.  You can visit their website at:  Or better yet take a tour – this is an organization that is truly making a difference here in Salem and throughout Marion and Polk counties.

Keeping the faith,


Laura Signature Black Best

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