CAMP HILL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Rite Aid Foundation announced today that Chris Kirchner, executive director of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been awarded its KidChamp Award. Ms. Kirchner was recognized for three decades of advocacy and outreach to ensure healing and justice for sexually abused children in Philadelphia. In recognition of her service, Ms. Kirchner received a $10,000 donation to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance from The Rite Aid Foundation and a $500 Rite Aid gift card during a special ceremony at Philadelphia Children’s Alliance.
PCA is Philadelphia’s only child advocacy center for sexually abused children. The nonprofit organization brings together a team of professionals to allow abused children to tell their stories using a coordinated process in a safe and welcoming facility. When a report of child sexual abuse is made in Philadelphia, PCA’s intake team coordinates the investigation with a multi-disciplinary team approach, working closely with representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the Department of Human Services, and mental health and medical professionals on behalf of the victim.
The Rite Aid Foundation created the KidChamp Award in 2017 to recognize individuals in communities served by Rite Aid. Those who are recognized, have made a meaningful difference in the lives of youth by advocating for their health and wellbeing, championing education and academic growth, while creating safe environments for children and teens to live and grow. Ms. Kirchner is the sixth recipient of the award.
“Chris is the embodiment of what it means to be a voice for the voiceless. Child sexual abuse is a national crisis that changes children’s lives forever. However, thanks to the work of Chris and the PCA, these children can reclaim their lives and ensure that the abuse doesn’t define who they are,” said Bryan Everett, chief operating officer of Rite Aid Corporation and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “Not only has Chris worked to ensure that PCA fulfills its mission, she has also championed to expand PCA’s facility and provide care for more children than ever before, ensuring justice and healing for the innocent.”
Three years after PCA opened in 1989, Ms. Kirchner took on the role as the Alliance’s executive director. Initially, PCA was housed in a 3,300 square foot space in West Philadelphia with only one forensic interview room that allowed for only one child and family to be seen at a time. Ms. Kirchner made it her mission to advocate for a larger site and ensure PCA could serve every child who has faced sexual abuse. In 2010, the facility moved to a larger space in Center City that served 100 children a month.
In 2013, after seeing the incredible work Ms. Kirchner and PCA had accomplished, the City of Philadelphia built the Philadelphia Safety Collaborative to co-locate PCA and all partner agencies. The state-of-the-art facility houses the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services social workers, child abuse prosecutors and PCA staff. This larger facility allows for 250 children to be served a month. In 2018, PCA responded to 3,274 reports of child sexual abuse, conducted 1,957 forensic interviews and ensured 1,264 children received counseling therapy.
“It is truly an honor to be presented with this KidChamp Award. I am incredibly thankful to The Rite Aid Foundation and KidCents for their support of PCA and our efforts to provide a safe space where children can heal and begin to reclaim their lives,” said Chris Kirchner, executive director, Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. “Our work has helped change how we approach sexual abuse cases for children. I’m so very proud of what we have accomplished and promise to continue advocating to ensure these children continue to get the support and care they deserve.”
As part of her role at PCA, Ms. Kirchner also oversees the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (NRCAC), a federal grant project that provides training and technical assistance to communities in the northeastern United States that are interested in developing or maintaining a Child Advocacy Center. In addition, she and members of her management team lead trainings locally and nationally about the topic of child sexual abuse, and the importance of a collaborative response.
About The Rite Aid Foundation
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $63 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $92 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.
About the KidCents Program
Through the KidCents program, which is The Rite Aid Foundation’s charitable giving program dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children living in the communities Rite Aid services, members of Rite Aid's loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.
About Rite Aid Corporation
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with 2,466 stores in 18 states and fiscal 2019 annual revenue of $21.6 billion. At Rite Aid we have a personal interest in our patient’s health and wellness and deliver the products and services they need to lead healthier lives. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
About Philadelphia Children’s Alliance
The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance is an independent non-profit organization that promotes healing and justice for sexually abused children in Philadelphia. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we collaborate with our partners in child protection, law enforcement, and medical and mental health services to provide forensic interviews, victim support and counseling services at the Philadelphia Safety Collaborative, a co-located child-friendly facility. PCA is committed to using best practices and we promotes this model locally and nationally.