The Roots of the Center :
In 1979 the National Exchange Club adopted child abuse
prevention as a national project and the Jackson Exchange Club began work
toward making a center a reality in Jackson. During that same year, the
news media in Jackson carried a story about a child who died as a result
of child abuse.
Entertainer and songwriter Carl
Perkins, a resident of Jackson, saw the child's picture and thought the
child resembled one of his own children. He was so moved by the tragic
story that he too decided something must be done to stop child abuse.
Carl helped organize a successful concert and the proceeds generated were
combined with funds received through a National Exchange Club Grant. This
allowed the center to open its doors in October 1981. This was the first
Exchange Club Center in Tennessee and the fourth nationwide.
Today, the Center is recognized as one of the largest
and most successful of its kind in the Nation. The Center, with over 80 staff members and hundreds of volunteers, works to give the hope of a
brighter future to children and families all across West Tennessee.
Growth and Development 1981 to Present
October 1981 Center opens its first office in the Madison County Children’s
It is the first center of its kind in the state of
and only the fourth in the nation.
The Center was also the first licensed child abuse
prevention center in the State of
Co-founders: Jackson Exchange Club and Carl Perkins.
First Circles Newsletter distributed.
The first Circles of Hope Telethon is held at
the studios of WBBJ-TV and raises $33,000.
The Center was serving 43 children at the time.
Center becomes a United Way Agency.
First State Grants were given to the Center.
VOCA and CAP programs began.
August 1986 Center moved to 212 N. Highland location in Jackson.
Carl Perkins Commemorative Coca-Cola bottle
released as a means to raise funds for the Center.
Volunteer Program Established.
Outreach services began in
Chester, Hardeman, and Henderson
Gibson County Center
opens in Trenton.
opens in Lexington.
The Judds make an appearance at the Circles of
The event raises $150,000.
Tipton County Center
opens in Covington.
First Annual Blue Suede Dinner & auction is held
Center opens its first permanent location at 217 East College Street
Madison County Child Advocacy Services began.
Child Sexual Abuse Services
opens in Alamo.
opens in Bolivar.
Child Advocacy Services began in
and Tipton Counties.
opens in Selmer.
November 1999 Child Advocacy Services were separated from
other services in
July 2000 Madison County Government donated land for the
Child Advocacy Center.
August 2000 Central Office Facility established to serve
all of West Tennessee.
opens in Huntingdon.
Center opens in Martin.
Child Advocacy Services provided for the first time in
Open House is held for the
Center at 182 Lexington Avenue in Jackson.
August 2004 Center is the fifth Exchange Club
Center in the nation to
receive AAA Accreditation from the National Exchange Club
the largest Center.
Madison, Henderson and Tipton
Child Advocacy Centers
receive accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance
Tennessee’s First Lady, Andrea
Conte’, walks across the state from one advocacy center to
another raising funds for child abuse prevention.
The Center’s four child advocacy centers receive a
total of $64,331 from the events.
January 2005 Americorps “One Child at a Time” program began.
February 2005 Wynonna performs at the Blue Suede Dinner and
event breaks all previous attendance and financial records
and raises more than $238,000.
May 2005 Lives & Legacies Campaign Begins.
January 2006 Relative Care giver services begin in Northwest
County Center opens.
Center celebrates its 25th
July 2006 Center begins Drug Endanger/Exposed Children’s
Programs (Meth grants)
Caregiver Program starts in Southwest.
March 2007 Building donated in Decatur County.
May 2007 Polly’s Playground established.
Building donated for use for
second site in Gibson
located in Humboldt.
Child Advocacy Services began. Victims
Assessment Dollars applied for in counties.
November 2007 Haywood
Center completed. Pledged
County CAC accredited by National Children’s Alliance. (NCA)
Center had a Record breaking
number of 5515 individuals served.
Building was donated.
Center received National CARE award from National Exchange
County building addition
completed and pledged out.
Carroll County Child
accredited by NCA.
Advisory Board in Hardin
August 2008 Center raises $1.1 m at Circles of Hope
Henry County for services.
Building Donated to
Building donated for use in Hardin County
for Child Advocacy Services.
County becomes accredited by National