Chamber Chat -  Compassion ’19

Jan 06

By Meg Moss


The Sanford Area Growth Alliance – Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a promoting sponsor for Compassion ’19, a community roundtable presented by the United Way of Lee County.


It’s no secret that traumatic experiences are detrimental to children. But did you know that having more than four Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) raises a person’s risk for serious disease throughout life? At United Way’s community roundtable, Compassion ’19, we’ll look at some of the science behind ACEs and consider what we as a community can do to build resilience and offer trauma-informed care.


What exactly is an Adverse Childhood Experience? There are three types of ACEs: Abuse in form of physical, emotional or social; neglect in the form of physical or emotional; and household dysfunction. Household dysfunction can include mental illness in the home, an incarcerated relative, a parent being treated violently, substance abuse in the home, and/or divorce.


“Compassion ’19: Beyond ACEs--Building Awareness and Resilience in Lee County” will be held January 29, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the McSwain Center, 2420 Tramway Road, in Sanford. Lunch is included, and there is no cost to participants.


The Compassion roundtable sponsored by United Way of Lee County will draw dozens of civic leaders and social service professionals to examine critical problems facing the community, find viable solutions and determine how groups can work together to enhance the entire community. United Way is pleased to partner with Prevent Child Abuse NC and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance to present Compassion ’19.


The Compassion event will also educate attendees on what impact ACEs has on an individual as they grow into adulthood. As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for negative health outcomes. Possible risk outcomes include lack of physical activity, smoking, addiction, missed work, obesity, diabetes, depression, suicide attempts, STD’s heart disease, cancer, stroke, COPD and even broken bones.


At the event, we will screen the documentary Resilience, in which pioneers in the ACEs field talk about their work and explain that “it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you.” A facilitated panel discussion will follow the screening. During a community café-style lunch, participants will discuss ways that our community can respond to the challenges of ACEs.


“We know that caring adults can make a difference in traumatized children’s lives,” says Kendra Martin, Executive Director of United Way of Lee County. “That’s why we need to come together as a community to determine ways that we can surround these children and their parents with supportive resources to help them build resilience against ACEs.”


Compassion ’19 is free, but preregistration is required. Registration is being accepted now through January 22nd at


The public is welcome to attend, and I hope you consider taking part in this important community discussion about Adverse Childhood Experiences, and how we as a community can make a difference!

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