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The previews alone left a pit in my stomach, so it was with great trepidation that I went to the Terrace Theatre last Monday to screen Precious, an intense story of poverty, obesity, teenaged pregnancy, and abuse. Three local nonprofit groups, each specializing in one of the plights depicted in the movie, banded together to promote the screening and host a post-show panel. The story stirred up a powerful emotional tsunami, and most viewers stayed for more than an hour to digest and discuss what they'd viewed. Agents representing the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, Florence Crittenton Programs of S.C., and Louie’s Kids facilitated the discussion that was tinged with a host of reactions—stunned disbelief, horror, anger, disgust, and more. Unfortunately, abuse like that depicted in the film is all too real, and such cases are seen daily by the three participating charities.

The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center (DNLCC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the impact and incidence of child abuse on the children and their families in the Tri-county community. By bringing together child protective services, law enforcement, medical, legal, educational, and mental health professionals, DNLCC provides a coordinated approach to helping children and their families regardless of their ability to pay. Since the opening in 1991, DNLCC has helped over 16,000 child victims and their families. http://www.dnlcc.org

Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina serves at-risk, low-income pregnant girls and young women, one of the most vulnerable populations in South Carolina. Located in downtown Charleston, our mission is to foster the development of healthy babies and strong, competent parents. For 112 years, we have provided a safe haven, medical care, counseling, education and social support services to pregnant girls and young women so that they may deliver healthy babies and become independent, successful young adults. http://www.florencecrittentonsc.org

LOUIE’S KIDS is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that raises funds to help treat childhood obesity, which afflicts 25 million American children today. Louie’s Kids works to find the best treatment options to meet the needs of each child. We find the fix that fits, one kid at a time. Founded in 2001 in Alexandria, Virginia and operated today out of Charleston, South Carolina, Louie’s Kids serves economically disadvantaged kids nationwide. http://www.louieskids.org

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