During the third week of July, motorcycle enthusiasts from all 50 states and Canada converge on Erie Pennsylvania, to attend Roar on the Shore® Bike Week. The proceeds from the 2018 event, which is set for July 18-22, will benefit Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Erie’s oldest nonprofit human service provider. Here, James Mando, president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Center, provides an overview of the Center and what it means to be the designated charity for this year’s rally.
Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center has been a leader in the care and treatment of children with mental health, behavioral health and severe emotional challenges for more than 147 years. Please provide an overview of the Center’s history.
The Children’s Center was founded in 1871, in Erie, by a group of women interested in helping orphaned and homeless children. Sarah A. Reed was an original member of this group who founded “The Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor, and a Home for the Friendless.” Miss Reed served as president for 45 years from 1889 until her death in 1934. Today, our programs and services help children (ages 3-18) who are working to overcome emotional, mental and behavioral health challenges, many of whom have suffered varying levels of abuse, neglect or trauma. Our professional staff provides the cutting-edge therapies needed to help them heal, strengthen their families and teach them the necessary skills to help them reach their goals. Sarah Reed is a Sanctuary®-certified agency and is accredited by the Joint Commission for Accreditation on Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the American Psychological Association.
What types of services do you provide?
We offer a variety of programs to children and families, including a 24-hour Residential Treatment Program in Millcreek that helped 51 children last year from the Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia region. We also have Partial and Acute Partial Hospitalization Programs that help 185 students annually from Erie’s city and county schools, and we offer Alternative Education Programs for middle and high school students with mental/behavioral health challenges. Sarah Reed also partners with many local school districts to provide in-school therapists who counsel students in need of extra help and support. Our Outpatient Program, located in the Professional Building, provides individual and family therapy, medication management and a new Psychological Assessment Clinic.
Today, the Center serves more than 1,700 children and adolescents annually at seven program facilities, area school districts and community-based services. Describe how vital your services are to the children it serves.
A child from our Residential Treatment Program recently said, “Without Sarah Reed, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s a life-changing experience.” We truly believe that our specialized services are changing lives, and our goal each day is to positively alter the course of some of our community’s most at-risk children. Unfortunately,
90 percent of the children we treat have experienced trauma or abuse, which oftentimes is the source of their mental/behavioral issues. Our agency provides a healing, therapeutic environment to Centerhelp each child be successful and to stop the vicious cycle of abuse, violence and unhealthy life choices.
Funds from Roar® 2018 will help defray some of the general construction costs of a new, 12-bed residence hall for the Center’s 24/7 Residential Program located at its main campus on West 34th Street in Erie. Tell us more.
There has been an increasing demand for our Residential Program, and this fifth unit will allow us to serve an additional 20-25 children annually. Phase One is underway, and we broke ground on June 8.
What are your thoughts on the Center being chosen as the Roar® charity for 2018?
We are thrilled and greatly appreciate the opportunity to shine a light on our organization and the difference being made every day for children and families.
What are you most looking forward to at Roar® this year?
Roar on the Shore® is one of Erie’s signature events! It’s a wonderful way to showcase our great city on the lake, and I’m looking forward to meeting new people.
For more information about Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, call 814/838-1954 or visit www.SarahReed.org.