Do you know what SOS stands for in the Emporia area?
The official answer is Sexual Offense Services. An organization started in 1976 as an outgrowth of the Emporia chapter for the National Organization for Women. The underlying purpose was to offer services for rape victims.
Today SOS is one of Emporia’s finest assets. The SOS vision has grown to be one seeking to end sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and neglect through service, education, advocacy, social change and promotion of justice.
When I say one of Emporia’s finest assets its because not all other communities have an SOS and few if any have organizations as effective as our SOS.
SOS has been a United Way agency since 1982, but funding remains their biggest challenge. At one time many grants were available, but they have dried up and creative fund raising like the concert and auction this past Saturday night are vital.
SOS services cover a lot of areas.
They include CASA which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Working in the 5thJudicial District CASA volunteers represent the best interest of children who need help.
In 1999 the Visitation and Exchange Center was opened. It is a safe place for children to be with their parents during supervised visits and exchanges. This Center often makes complicated situations simple.
Since 2002 SOS has operated in four additional counties – Chase, Coffey Greenwood and Morris- offering client services and developing volunteer bases in these areas. Osage County was added in 2004.
In 2012 Susan Moran retired after years of outstanding leadership as Executive Director of SOS. Fortunately Connie Cahoone was available to take over from Susan. Connie would be the first to tell you there was no replacing Susan, but Connie is off to a wonderful start.
The biggest disappointment about Saturday night was that YOU were not there. There was a nice group assembled for the auctions which raised over $10,000, but the turn out for the outstanding Callie Agler-Medrano concert was disappointing.
SOS is a wonderful asset, but more support is needed. Volunteers are needed. YOU are needed. SOS makes our community a better place to live. Please help.