June/July 2016 - In This Issue:

618 Mechanic
Emporia, KS 66801

Administration: 620-343-8799
Fax: 620-343-9460
CASA of the Flint Hills: 620-343-2744
Child Advocacy Center: 620-343-8742
Child Visitation & Exchange Center: 620-342-0076
Crisis Services & Outreach: 620-342-1870


Save the Date: Friday, July 29

Over the hill? Not hardly! To celebrate four decades of service to Emporia and the surrounding area, SOS supporters are throwing a free glow pool party! 

From 7-10 p.m. on Friday, July 29, Jones Aquatic Center in Emporia will be free and open to the public. All ages are welcome! Make your own glow stick jewelry, splash with the family, or enjoy a free cupcake while the sun sets.

Concessions will also be available at regular price. All ages are welcome. Come make a splash! 

Save and share the image above to help spread the word | Email for More Info

4 - 13: Lyon County Fair

5: Labor Day
5 - 11: National Suicide Prevention Week

All Month Long: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
11: Annual Domestic Violence Summit (more information to follow)
Deb Schneider Retires from CVEC
Deb Schneider

Deb Schneider retired as the Director of the SOS Child Visitation and Exchange Center on June 30, 2016. "Deb was a great Director for the CVEC for 8 years. She was dedicated, caring, efficient and effective," stated Connie Cahoone, SOS Executive Director.

Deb was a teacher and retired from the Emporia School District before joining SOS for her second career. She worked as a CVEC supervisor before taking over as director. Deb was looking forward to moving to Lawrence and spending time with her family, especially her grandson. She will be missed by clients and staff. We wish her well.

After Finding Comfort in a Teddy Bear, Local Girl Returns the Favor 
Brandi Gilbreath, Child Advocacy Center

Last year, a young lady was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center. At that time, she disclosed the details of a sexual assault by a staff member at a camp she attended. The CAC staff tries to keep stuffed animals and similar items available for children brought in for interviews in the hopes they may offer some shred of comfort at a dark and confusing time in the child's life. After her interview was complete, she picked out a stuffed animal from our "goodie" closet. 

Over the past year, we kept in touch with this family and learned more detail about the abuse she encountered.  Regardless of what this young lady endured, she wanted to give back to other children who have had similar experiences. On June 13, 2016, both mom and daughter came into the CAC office to distribute an estimated $200 worth of stuffed animals, toys, stickers, colors, book, and journals to be given to the children who are interviewed at the CAC. They gave so much stuff that our entire closed was filled from top to bottom with "goodies."  

We were so very grateful at the CAC for this generous donation and how a young lady who endured such a horrific experience could find the strength in the midst of her pain to reach out and help others. She did not allow what happened to her to paralyze her future or stop her from giving back to other children. She is no doubt a remarkable young lady and one I'm glad we had the privilege to meet.

About the CAC
The SOS Child Advocacy Center (CAC) partners with the Department for Children and Familes, law enforcement, the county attorney's office, mental health professionals and the local hospital to provide streamlined services to children/families who have suffered sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, or have been a witness to violence. The CAC uniquely offers forensic interviews for investigative purposes in a child-friendly environment.

The CAC can be reached at 620-343-8742 or by  email .
Smartphone Tips for Even Smarter Parents

Many kids carry phones which can help them stay connected and reach their families in emergencies. However, smartphones also run apps for interactive games that can share locations and so much more.
  • Know the apps: Be aware of the apps your kids use. Make sure they are only downloaded from reputable app stores and check their privacy disclosures and settings.
  •  Be location savvy: Apps that share your location with friends and family can be great, but be sure only the right people can find out where you are.
  • Lock your phone: Make sure that you have a secret PIN (personal identification number), a password, fingerprint setting or other security measures in place so that only you can access your phone.
  • Know how to locate and wipe your phone: There are free tools like Apple's iCloud Find my Phone and Google's Android Device Manager that will help you find your device (if it's turned on) or wipe it clean if it's lost.
Tara Schnakenberg
Tara, Heather & Corina

Tara Schnakenberg, Director of CVEC |  620-342-0076 

I started working at the SOS Child Visitation & Exchange Center on June 20, 2016. Prior to w orking for SOS, I was employed at TFI Family Services, Inc. as a Family Support Worker a nd also as  a Human Resource Specialist. The past 1 ½ years I worked as a legal secretary at the Lyo n County Attorney's Office.  Several years of experience working directly with children and families, developing community partnerships, knowledge of the Court System and HR laws, will allow me to apply those skills and knowledge in my new position as Director of CVEC.

I was born in Aurora, CO and my family moved to Olathe, KS when I was in 4th grade. I grew up in Olathe, KS and moved to Emporia to attend college in 1999. I attended Emporia State University from 1999-2004. I majored in Psychology and minored in Rehabilitation, and played on the ESU Varsity Tennis team for 4 years. I have been married for 11 years and have a 2 yr old son, Jaxon, who is my entire world. I have a compassion for animals and have 2 big dogs who have been a part of our family for almost 13 yrs. I am proud to call Emporia my home, and to be a part of such  a wonderful community. 

I am very excited and honored to have the opportunity to become a part of SOS and to be able to serve families in need of visitation services in our community. It is wonderful that our community has a Child Visitation and Exchange Center because it allows children to have contact with both parents in a safe, neutral environment without conflict or violence. 
I look forward to serving families again, and hope to make a positive impact on the Center and provide new insight and ideas to continue to allow the Center to succeed and grow. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if I can introduce myself to you! 


Heather Wedel
Heather Wedel, Community Relations Coordinator |  620-343-8799

What a winding path it has been that led me to SOS! I am originally from  Americus and a graduate of Northern Heights High School. After graduating fro m KSU, I enjoyed the many amusements of Manhattan for a number of years (Go Cats!). Recently, my husband, daughter and I decided it was time to put down roots in our hometown so we packed up and moved back just last November. 

My professional history is an eclectic collection of experiences ranging from wine tasting hostess to veterinary diagnostic lab client care to website project manager. The last was where I really started to grow into my professional skin and discover my strengths. I have a pretty wide geek streak and love to proofread, format, and organize. If you're looking to debate the merits of the serial comma, I'm your girl! 

I love this community and am honored to be a part of an organization providing services so noble and imperative in the town I call home. Stop by Admin and say hi! 


Corina Sanchez, CASA Advocate Coordinator |  620-343-2744 
Corina Sanchez

I would like to introduce myself as the new Advocate Coordinator at SOS CASA of the Flint Hills. I am new to Emporia and have only lived here since January. Prior to moving to Kansas, I resided in Austin, Texas. In Austin, I worked for over 15 years in the Banking Association field. 

After relocating to Kansas to be near my family, I wanted to use my talents in a field that did good works and that I would be proud to represent. I found that match at SOS CASA of the Flint Hills. I look forward to working with the people of Emporia as I work with my current CASA volunteers and recruit new ones who watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. 

Watch for more staff updates and profiles in our next newsletter!

Quenemo Kids' Camp Shenanigans

Summer Sunsation is a free day camp for local kids offered every summer by SOS. Camp took place every Wednesday from June 8 - July 13 at Marais Des Cygnes Valley Elementary School in Quenemo, KS. For more information on camps or other children's activities, contact us at 343-8799 or by email.

SOS, Inc.
24/7 Helpline: 800-825-1295
Ph: 620-343-8799

Compassionately serving those affected by abuse and neglect for 40 years.