The Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
serving Jackson and West Tennessee - 731-668-4000

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The Roots of the Center :

sister and brotherIn 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.

     Center Growth and Development 1981 to Present


October 1981 Center opens its first office in the Madison County Children’s Group Home Building at 224 Lexington Street in Jackson.  It is the first center of its kind in the state of Tennessee and only the fourth in the nation.  The Center was also the first licensed child abuse prevention center in the State of Tennessee.  Co-founders: Jackson Exchange Club and Carl Perkins.

May 1984  First Circles Newsletter distributed.

 July 1984 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.

June 1985 Center becomes a United Way Agency.

July 1986 First State Grants were given to the Center.  VOCA and CAP programs began.

August 1986 Center moved to 212 N. Highland location in Jackson.

December 1986 Carl Perkins Commemorative Coca-Cola bottle released as a means to raise funds for the Center.      Volunteer Program Established.

January 1987 Outreach services began in Chester, Hardeman, and Henderson Counties.

 October 1989 Gibson County Center opens in Trenton.

 November 1989  Henderson County Center opens in Lexington.

 September 1991 Haywood County Center opens in Brownsville.

August 1993 The Judds make an appearance at the Circles of Hope Telethon.  The event    raises $150,000.

 February 1994  Tipton County Center opens in Covington.

February 1995 First Annual Blue Suede Dinner & auction is held in Jackson. 

 April 1995 Center opens its first permanent location at 217 East College Street in Jackson.

 uly 1995 Madison County Child Advocacy Services began.   Child Sexual Abuse Services began.

July 1996 Crockett County Center opens in Alamo.   Chester County Center opens in Henderson.

 August 1997 Hardeman County Center opens in Bolivar.   Child Advocacy Services began in Henderson and Tipton Counties.

 September 1998 McNairy County Center opens in Selmer.

 November 1999 Child Advocacy Services were separated from other services in Madison County. 

 July 2000 Madison County Government donated land for the Child Advocacy Center.

 August 2000  Central Office Facility established to serve all of West Tennessee.

 July 2002  Carroll County Center opens in Huntingdon.

 March 2003 Weakley County Center opens in Martin.  Child Advocacy Services provided for the first time in Northwest Tennessee.

 October 2003 Open House is held for the Madison Child Advocacy 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 Foundation.  Now the largest Center.

 September 2004 Madison, Henderson and Tipton County Child Advocacy Centers receive accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance (NCA).

 September 2004 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.  (Federal Grant).

 February 2005 Wynonna performs at the Blue Suede Dinner and Auction.  The 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 Counties.

 February 2006 Decatur County Center opens.

 October 2006 Exchange Club-Carl Perkins Center celebrates its 25th anniversary.

 July 2006 Center begins Drug Endanger/Exposed Children’s Programs (Meth grants) in Weakley and Tipton Counties.  Relative Caregiver Program starts in Southwest.

 March 2007 Building donated in Decatur County.

 May 2007 Polly’s Playground established.

 July 2007  Lauderdale County Center opened. Building donated for use for second site in Gibson County located in Humboldt.  Child Advocacy Services began.  Victims Assessment Dollars applied for in counties.

 November 2007  Haywood County Child Advocacy Center completed. Pledged out.

 June 2008 Weakley County CAC accredited by National Children’s Alliance. (NCA) Center had a Record breaking number of 5515 individuals served.  Lauderdale County Building was donated.   Center received National CARE award from National Exchange Foundation. Henderson County building addition completed and pledged out. 

July 2008 Carroll County Child Advocacy Center accredited by NCA.  Advisory Board in Hardin County created.

 August 2008 Center raises $1.1 m at Circles of Hope Telethon.

 January 2009 Office space donated in Henry County for services.

 February 2009 Weakley County Building Donated to Center.

 June 2009 Building donated for use in Hardin County for Child Advocacy Services.  Gibson County becomes accredited by National Children’s Alliance.



Toll-free, 24-hour crisis hotline: 1-800-273-4747

General Information: 731-668-4000 - email
General Mailing Address: Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse - P. O. Box 447, Jackson, TN 38302