Defenders for Children named a 2022 ‘Angel’ charity
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - One Greenville charity is being honored for its hard, But its founder says there’s still more to do and they need your help.
Defenders for Children is one of 10 charities on the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Angel list this year, a select group of non-profits who spend the vast majority of their expenditures directly charity work.
At Defenders for Children, that money goes to buy electronic detention dogs for law enforcement.
“In 2010 we launched the Defenders for Children Organization because the levels of child abuse were really high in this beautiful community,” said founder Toni Clark. “We heard about these wonderful tools ... a dog, that had the ability to locate hidden electronic evidence.”
The first dog they placed was Queue, who works alongside deputies on the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Since then, they’ve added another four dogs to law enforcement agencies in South Carolina and another in Georgia.
Queue is specially trained to locate electronic devices, like micro SD cards, that could contain evidence the deputies can use when investigating human trafficking, child pornography and sex abuse.
“They do try to hide the devices so that’s where the K9s are a valuable tool,” Clark said.
Sgt. Michael Rainey is Queue’s handler. He said they’ve been on 100 searches together, where Queue has located more than 75 devices.
Rainey said she’s even located micro SD cards, no bigger than a fingernail, hidden in phone charging blocks.
Clark said each piece of evidence is critical.
“One missed device can be a child’s life,” Clark said. “We can’t afford to have any devices missed.”
That’s why Clark wants a dog placed with each law enforcement agency that does work with children’s crimes. She’s hoping people think of Defenders for Children this Giving Tuesday.
“Our motto is gifts are great, but life without child abuse is so much better and there’s so many kids that need to have a life without pain,” Clark said. “That’s kind of what we really need to start focusing on.”
You can donate directly to Defenders for Children by clicking here.
You can also take part in the group’s Miracle Bash, a community event benefitting Defenders for Children and sponsored by Southernside Brewery, on Dec. 1. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m. It will feature dozens of Christmas trees, 40,000 lights, holiday face painting and live music.
The event is free to attend, but a $40 donation will get you a VIP pass and access to two drink tickets, a chocolate bar, appetizers by Southernside and The Cook Station and more. For the full event details, click here.
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