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SAFE Receives Ameren Grant to Expand Anti-Bullying Initiative

Sexual Assault Family Emergencies (SAFE) has received a $4,750 grant from Ameren Illinois to be used for their school-age education and prevention training program.

Mary Harrington, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Family Emergencies, stated, “We are grateful for Ameren Illinois’ continued support of our programs which allowed us to present to over 40,000 students. Due to this contribution our staff will be able to reach more children, giving them the tools they need to provide our Body Safety program.

SAFE’s school-age program uses an upbeat approach to deal with a different aspect of bullying by using two service dogs to teach empathy and empowerment to children. Using the book “Marshall the Miracle Dog,” classroom educators work with 5th through 8th grade students to accept differences in one another, thus increasing the chances of stopping bullying.

The grant was made available through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois to the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. Ray Riddle, Division Director, Ameren Illinois, shared the importance of the program to help improve the quality of life for communities.

“Ameren Illinois is proud to continue our support of SAFE and their school programs,” said Riddle. “Bringing the important message of anti-bullying to these young children will help improve their lives in our communities.”

SAFE’s programs serve 11 counties: Clay, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Bond, Marion, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Wayne and White with offices in Vandalia, Centralia, Mt. Vernon and Effingham.

SAFE’s Mission is to alleviate sexual violence and help sexual victims and their families recover and reclaim their lives. As an organization, SAFE works to overcome obstacles by educating society at large of the causes and consequences of sexual violence.