The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center was recently awarded a grant of $22,500 from The St. Joe Company’s Foundation to provide mental health counseling sessions to children recovering from the trauma of abuse and provide family services to help keep families together when appropriate.

“We’re so grateful to The St. Joe Company for its generosity,” said Julie Hurst, CEO for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. “The number of children we’re saving and healing in Walton County has more than doubled in one year.  This grant will ensure we can continue to help these kids at no cost to their families. By wrapping service around them and providing needed items such as clothing, food and diapers we can help keep those kids with their families when possible —which also helps with healing.”

The Center opened its Walton County location in DeFuniak Springs about 18 months ago and has served more than 200 children at the DeFuniak location. They helped to save and heal 729 children throughout Okaloosa and Walton counties in 2012.

“The St. Joe Community Foundation is pleased that this grant will provide abused children the assistance needed to help with their healing and recovery,” said Park Brady, CEO for the St. Joe Company.