Malinda Shamburger- Until We Meet Again

The semester has come to an end (almost). This is the final blog. Writing a blog has been an interesting experience. One that initially frightened me, but I would like shout out Jessica for being an awesome “blog master”, she has helped me grasp this concept. You really can teach an “old dog” a new trick thanks Jessica!  Interning at Twin Cedars has been the highlight of my college career. The work that goes on in this company is mind blowing. Everyday that I walked into the office there was something happening. I was assigned to work with the Marketing an PR director, however what I was able to see and do went well beyond those day to day duties. Marketing for a non-profit is a lot of work. One has to be familiar with every program and every program director, what they need as well as what they want, and be able to tie it up in a pretty bow for the public. With the work that Twin Cedars does, advocating for abused children, making the bows pretty is tough. The things that I learned cannot be found in textbooks. Here is a little review of my semester in a few pictures.


There was CASA day at the capitol, and several resource fairs.


April is Child Abuse Awareness month, our big event was a visit from the Governor’s wife, First Lady Sandra Deal. The signature blue ribbons and pinwheels were seen all over uptown Columbus, and in our sister cities of LaGrange and Macon.


The Super Hero run was the biggest event. This first time venture was more successful than anyone could have imagined, and will now become an annual event. This is only a small snapshot of the semester, however, past blogs have covered several other projects. There is a lot that goes on at Twin Cedars that is not for the camera’s eye. It has been a blast and I will not say good bye, but until we meet again.

Malinda Shamburger- A Super Day on Broadway

After months of preparation, the day had finally arrived. A Super Day on Broadway! A lot of planning that went into an event that lasted three hours, but every minute was worth it! There were over 200 runners and walkers, 20 vendors, 3 stage shows, a costume and art contest, and lots of people walking around in costume. The day started out with a zumba warm-up and then it was time for the race. Mayor, Teresa Tomlinson, came out to greet the crowd, but after greeting the crowd she walked around enjoying the festivities. WRBL’s meteorologist Bob Jeswald served as the day’s MC.



Everyone in involved in the event had a wonderful time. However, we do not want to forget the reason that we were all together on that day. It was a day of awareness for child abuse. Every dollar raised, and every person that came out brought us steps closer to reaching and helping more children. I think the CASA theme says it all, every child needs a hero, but an abused child needs a super hero!

Malinda Shamburger- S.A.N.E

Twin Cedars provides many services that advocate for children. This month they were able to debut a program that has been in the works for a while. It is the S.A.N.E. room –  S.A.N.E. stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The addition of this service has eliminated yet another step a victim would have to go through when a person reports an abuse. What happens in the S.A.N.E. room is a thorough examination that is recorded with pictures and dialogue. There is extensive training that medical professionals must complete before they are able to conduct this type of examination. One would think being a health professional is training enough considering the number of years doctors and nurses are in school. However, because of the nature of these exams, children who have been sexually abused, there are key indicators one must look for as well as document. The information from the exam will be a part of evidence used to convict the perpetrator. As you can see from the pictures below the room is no different from the exam room used in most doctor’s offices.

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That is done to make sure that the patient feels as comfortable and relaxed as they possibly can. The children that come to the office have already experienced enough trauma, so this visit should not contribute to that trauma further. Twin Cedars is the first in the state to have an exam room of this caliber on site. The S.A.N.E. room is just one more way that Twin Cedars can help make this time in a families life as convenient as possible.

Malinda Shamburger- Get Ready, Get Set,…

The operative word would be go. However, we have just a week more to go. What am I talking about you ask? The CASA Superhero Race!!

As we draw closer to the date the to do list is getting longer instead of shorter. There have been interviews, articles written for the paper and various local magazines. Advertising carries about 80% of what needs to be done. Our attempt is to make our race stand out. I have learned that Columbus is a town that loves to race there have been races every week since February sometimes two or more on one day. In fact, Our race on April 13 is in competition with 4 other races that we are aware of. But I do not think any of those races have such a broad venue of activities planned. Our race is more than a run it is an event. There will things for the children, parents, and grandparents to do! This month is National Child Abuse Awareness month also, so there will be vendors on site providing information about the agencies in our area that can help. Of course you can just stop by for information to. Here is a little preview of one of the runners at the Color me Rad race last week.


(Rosalind Alston, CASA Program Director and Batman)

There is still time to volunteer to help with the race, and of course runners are especially welcome. Please review the following flyer for additional information and if you are interested in volunteer opportunities, or any information you may contact me as well. I will be glad to help you! See you Uptown!


Malinda Shamburger- The Hunt Is On

It was a cold rainy afternoon, not the kind of day that one associates with an Easter egg hunt, but on March 22, that is what happened at the home of Anne Elizabeth Shepherd auxiliary member Sandra Beck. The bright and shining smiles on the faces of the girls as they lined up for the hunt were a welcome substitute for the missing sun that day.

The auxiliary put in a lot of work to make this a special day for the girls. Along with the hunt, the girls colored eggs, made beautiful picture frames, and enjoyed a delicious lunch. However, the highlight of the day came with the introduction of Mrs. Beck’s horses. The auxiliary provided carrots and apples for the girls to share with the horses. For most of the girls, this was the first time they had ever come this close to a horse. There were lots of squeals and giggles as the horses gobbled the treats out of their hands. It was hard to determine who was the happiest – the girls or the horses. The fun did not stop there; everyone enjoyed a tour of the property in the form of an old-fashioned hayride.



The girls at the Shepherd are blessed. They are surrounded by a loving staff, as well as members of the community, like the auxiliary, who are willing to commit their time to ensure that these girls do not miss out on the simple pleasures of life. My internship is with marketing, however I am learning that when involved with a non-profit you wear many hats not just your public relations one. Because of this I have had a lot of opportunity to lend a helping hand in the events at the Shepherd home. This has enhanced my internship beyond any words that I can write in this blog.

Malinda Shamburger- Thunder In the Valley

On March 16th, if you were anywhere in the vicinity of the Columbus Airport, chances are you heard an earth-shattering noise, and maybe you saw planes spinning and twirling out of control. No, Columbus was not under attack, nor was Stephen Spielberg filming The Civil War Part II. What was happening was, Columbus’ The Thunder In the Valley. Each year, flight enthusiasts from across the state meet in Columbus to showcase their talents. In addition to airplanes, there were race cars and motorcycles. The grand finale seemed to be taken straight from a high budget action film. There were racing motorcycles and a huge explosion!


This event served as more than just an air show. It is also a fundraiser, Thunder In the Valley supports many agencies in Columbus that provide services for children. Twin Cedars is fortunate to be one of those agencies that received this generous gift.

The benefactor will be the Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home. I have talked about this part of Twin Cedars in past blogs. It is wonderful to know that the community is concerned about the welfare of children, and they are not just sitting around discussing it, that they are making genuine efforts to raise money. It is putting your money where your mouth is. The girls were able to come out and enjoy the show as well. One of the members of the Shepherd Home staff said, “It is so wonderful to be here, and to see our girls being able to be girls.” Having a good time was the order of the day!  The girls, Columbus, and even I had wonderful day!

Malinda Shamburger- The Night of Stars

As part of my internship, I attended a talent show at The First Presbyterian Church. The young ladies from the Anne Elizabeth Shepherd home put on a top-notch talent show. For those not familiar with the Shepherd home, it is a residential program providing services for abused girls ages 7-17. The girls live on the campus and they also attend school there. There can be such a stigma attached to children that grow up in this type of environment.

What we have to remember is they are victims, and places like the Shepherd home is a safe haven for them. The Shepherd home has a long history in Columbus. In the 1800’s it served as an orphanage. Over the years, it has evolved to what it is today a home for young ladies.

Now back to the talent show, the girls had a wonderful time displaying their many talents. There were artists, a christian rapper, dancers, hula hoopers, etc.



It is evident that the girls had a great time, but they were not the only ones. The members of First Presbyterian had a great time as well. What made the night special was that the girls got a chance to just be girls in the midst of old friends and new friends. I think the smiles on their faces tell a story of its own. Great job ladies, we cannot wait to see what you have for us next year!

Malinda Shamburger- The One Stop Shop

Whenever I walk into Wal-Mart I am overwhelmed by how big it is. However, I can honestly say that I love the convenience of having a department store and grocery store in one place. It is clear that I am not the only person that feels that way, because there is not a day that Wal-Mart’s parking lots are overflowing. On Wednesday February 27, Twin Cedars had the opportunity to participate in the non-profit version of a one stop shop. Family Connection, an organization that is part of a Georgia statewide initiative of 159 community collaborative partnerships, is an organization committed to making measurable improvements for children and families in Georgia. Family Connection organized a resource fair at the health department that targeted the employees of The Department of Family and Children Services, and their clients.


Twin Cedars was one of fifteen agencies represented at the Resource Fair. It was a productive day for those represented because they were able to meet face to face with their client, DFACS, and provide an overview of the services available. Several of the DFACS employes stated that there are times they are not aware of all of the services available to them and their clients. DFACS employees felt that they received a useful resource by being made aware of what is out there. DFACS employees were not the only ones educated that day. Each of the represented non-profits were able to meet with one another and network as well. Family Connections did a great job with creating the Non-Profit Resource One Stop Shop!


Malinda Shamburger- A Day At The Capitol

CASA day at the capitol is a very important day for Twin Cedars. On this day, CASA coordinators from around the state rally in Atlanta to meet with state representatives and senators from their perspective counties. Having the opportunity to meet face to face with state legislators allows coordinators to add a voice to legislation that they are attempting to get introduced or passed. Currently, CASA has legislation that has been introduced in the House. House Bill 242 is about Juvenile Justice Reform. Today, there are no consistent policies from county to county in regard to the Juvenile Code. This bill is a step in the right direction to make these necessary changes. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein in a Feb 7 judiciary address said, “We as Georgians – and as a nation – stand at a crossroads in juvenile justice history.  We have learned, just as we did with adult criminal justice, that cracking down on juvenile crime is not enough. We must also be smart about juvenile crime and take action to reduce it.”

Here is a link to learn more about House Bill 242 There are other ways that we can help. If you are not registered to vote, make sure that you do so. It is important to have representatives that do just that, represent us, so your vote counts. If you are already a registered voter find out who your state legislators are, and let them know how important this bill is, and ask them to support it. Protecting children and families should be a priority of every citizen.


Pictured L-R, Rosalind Alston- CASA Program Coordinator, Rep. Calvin Smyre, Heather Irvin CASA Coordinator

Malinda Shamburger- Statistics Are Everything

Statistics like the one listed in the picture can at times seem far removed from the reality that is the life of most college students. Between tests, homework, and writing papers, the only statistics college students want to hear are the ones that pertain to the number of classes until graduation.Unfortunately, there are people who live the above statistics on a daily basis, and they are not far from the place the Communications department calls home. Everyday at Children’s Tree House a statistic walks in the door. Allow me for one moment to make this statistic real. You, and three girlfriends are having dinner. According to the research, one of you has experienced some sort of sexual abuse in their life.

I had the opportunity to attend a stakeholders meeting at the police department facilitated by Children’s Tree House. In this meeting were members of the police department, Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS), Child Protective Services, and the Family Center Counseling Services. In this meeting, the open child abuse cases are discussed. Each group has a part in how the case plays out. The police bring the information about the arrest of the perpetrator, or the report of a suspected abuse. DFACS discusses the placement of the child, the inspection of the home, and/or the interview of the parents. Child Protective Services will provide similar information. Children’s Tree House will discuss the interview with the child. Children come to the office with either their custodial parent, or the foster parents, and here is where they tell their story. The interviewers are trained to specifically guide the children through the interview. They do not make suggestions nor prod for answers. They allow the children to tell the story in their own way, and in their own time. The interview is recorded and the above mentioned stake holders are able to view the interview. This is an improvement from the way it was done before. In the past the child would have to tell their story over and over again to everyone with a stake in the case. Imagine what that could be like for a child that is already traumatized to have to relive that 4 or more times. The work done at Children’s Tree house is much needed and they are an asset to our community! I am glad to be working with such an organization!