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1470 WMBD: Peoria Agency Receives $20,000 Donation

Ameren Illinois has followed through with annual donation to the Center for Prevention of Abuse.

The $20,000 donation goes toward the Center’s Prevention Education program.

Alpha Media/Ed Hammond

Through Prevention Education services, the Center for Prevention of Abuse provides violence prevention education to 105 schools in the Tri-County area, reaching out to about 30,000 students each year.

“We believe in our mission to its very core,” said Center for Prevention of Abuse Executive Director Carol Merna. “It is our core principle, to provide services to all people, all ages, all walks of life.”

“The lessons that we teach for non-violent conflict resolution, helping children have a safe place to learn, making sure they feel comfortable with their surroundings and with their peers,” Merna said, “it’s part of the holistic mission of the services that we provide.”

The donation comes at a time when the Center and other social service agencies continue to feel the squeeze of a continued state budget impasse.

Merna says the state owes the Center nearly $500,000. The Center’s emergency shelters have not received state funding for a full year.

Merna says some affiliates served by the Center have said they will close as early as Saturday if lawmakers do not approve a budget before the end of the fiscal year Friday.

“Dominoes will start to fall,” Merna said, “and the ripple effect will be felt. We need to be available to take care of our friends and neighbors and colleagues who need us.”

Merna says the Center has continued to operate at 100 percent through financial stewardship and staff cuts, “but at some point that will come in serious danger. I don’t want to reach that.”