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Volunteers Needed in Both Children’s Advocacy Center Locations

Tuesday ◊ April 26 – Niceville Center
Thursday ◊ April 28 – DeFuniak Springs Center
6 – 7:30 p.m.

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) in Niceville and the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center (PFCAC) in DeFuniak Springs are in need of volunteers. 

One of the ways to help ECCAC is to volunteer in numerous capacities at either of their Centers, or volunteer at events in the area that benefit them. That’s why on April 26 and 28, ECCAC is going to host a Volunteer Fair at each Center with light refreshments. One can learn more about the various volunteer needs and tour the Centers to get a better understanding of what it is ECCAC does to help children and their families in a child-friendly environment.

Volunteers are so important to the overall operation. ECCAC would like to introduce volunteers Pat Futch, and the husband and wife team of John & Margy Konopacki.

Pat Futch, a resident of Ft. Walton Beach for 42+ years, has been a familiar face at the Niceville center for the past 12 years. Her primary responsibility is covering the front desk every Thursday morning that include duties expected by any administrative assistant, as well as greeting families and their children, answering the phones, writing thank you notes to generous donators, feeding the fish and perhaps most importantly, baking chocolate chip cookies, a notable hallmark at the Centers.

Futch remarked, “What I enjoy the most about volunteering is being with the kids riding around the ‘world’ on Thomas the Train, having a tea party in the play kitchen, or watching future Monets draw beautiful flowers. I have been blessed to see first-hand how the ECCAC staff is devoted to protecting and healing the children who come through the doors. I hope to be a part of ECCAC until I’m 103!”

Freeport residents John and Margy Konopacki have been volunteering at the DeFuniak Springs center for the past 5 years. John takes care of the front desk when he volunteers, assists with maintenance and serves on the Building Maintenance Committee. Margy takes care of donations for the clothes closet that collects needed items for the kids, keeps that room organized and offers her assistance where needed.

The husband and wife team commented, “We volunteer at ECCAC to help others, especially the children who are less fortunate and come from, or are removed from compromised families. The Pierce Family Center makes us feel valued, like a part of their team. It provides us with a sense of purpose”

For further volunteer information, contact Ana Michalzik,, or call 850-833-9237, Ext. 283.

ECCAC provides services in a child-friendly environment to help identify, treat and support children in abusive situations, as well as helping to prevent child abuse through education and prevention programs. The centers in Okaloosa County and Walton County house representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, State Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, licensed mental health counselors, and ECCAC’s staff and volunteers. In ECCAC’s 23-year history, over 15,000 children have received more than 170,000 services at no cost.

For further information about the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, visit If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. 

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