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LDS Church leaders present donation to Utah Children’s Justice Center

SALT LAKE CITY -- Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are hoping a recent donation will go a long way toward helping Utah children recover from abuse.

The leaders of the LDS Church’s Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations delivered a check for $120,000 to the Utah Children’s Justice Center.

The center says the money will go toward enhancing medical services at eight of the center’s locations across the state. Currently, the Justice Center says they help 5,500 child victims every year at their 22 locations across Utah.

“We see kids who have been sexually abused, physically abused, other types of crimes involving children,” said Tracey Tabet of the Justice Center.

Sister Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor in the LDS Church’s Young Women General Presidency, said they support the goals of the justice center.

“We want children and youth, those who have suffered at the hands of those who have perpetrated this evil upon them, to feel like they can be completely whole, and to feel good about themselves, and to be able to progress and move forward in life,” she said.

Staff at the justice center say they see children come to them confused and afraid, but many of them leave recognizing there is hope and healing ahead.

“Do you know what's remarkable? They come in terrified and they leave feeling hope and happiness,” said Susanne Mitchell, the Director of the center. “And I will show you their messages of happiness. And out of tragedy can come triumph, because these kids come back and do service projects. Because they want to give back, and that's part of the healing process.”

The Utah Children's Justice Center is designed to empower child victims and allow them to heal. This is the third year in a row the LDS Church has given to child abuse and prevention organizations.