BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Kathy Smyth’s official last day as executive director of Safe Harbor was Jan. 30.
The organization, also known as the Butler County Children Advocacy Center, provides help to children and families who have experienced abusive situations and traumas.
According to Smyth, the center has one and one-half employees. The director is full time and the center employees two part time personnel. They contract out counseling services which helps with budgetary costs.
Smyth said the highlights of her career at Safe Harbor have been seeing the community involvement grow by leaps and bounds.
She said, “It’s been a true blessing to see fundraising efforts, enthusiasm for our work, and participation and financial support from the community grow over time.
“The children and family relationships I’ve made is going into the third generation with some families.”
Smyth has watched several children that came through the center grow, graduate, marry, and have children of their own. Some of those have served on the Board of Directors.
“That is another highlight for me,” said Smyth, “that just shows me that with support through traumatic experiences, children can live, learn, and be healthy adults and give back.”
Smyth added that she plans to concentrate part of her retirement efforts to her little shop in Luverne called ‘Re-imagined Antiques’, which carries distressed and re-purposed items and some ‘funky finds.’
Smyth said during the transition of directorship and afterwards that she will be available as needed for questions and to give support.