It’s not too early to start planning for this year’s Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) Adopt-a-Family program to help children in need over the upcoming holiday season.

ECCAC is seeking donors who will purchase gifts for individual families who have been identified by the center. Last year, the program helped 197 children in 70 families have a brighter Christmas.

Sign up to Adopt-a-Family online at www.eccac.org. Or contact Angie Harder at angie@eccac.org or 833-9237, ext. 253, to make arrangements. Then shop for the family and bring unwrapped gifts and Christmas wrapping paper for the gifts by Dec. 18 or sooner to the Niceville or DeFuniak Springs centers.

ECCAC’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children in Okaloosa and Walton counties, and restore the lives and futures of these impacted children. The center’s child-friendly facilities in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs house a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, and ECCAC staff and volunteers.

In the past 19 years, over 12,000 children have received more than 60,000 services to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals. Services are provided at no cost by ECCAC, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization.

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