Lisa Payne, vice chairman and CFO of Taubman Centers Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, a large developer and owner of luxury shopping malls, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about her involvement with CARE House of Oakland County, a child abuse and neglect council based in Pontiac where she serves as a board member.
1. DDN: What does the CARE House do?
LP: The mission of CARE House is made up of two things. The first is that we are a child advocacy center where we support children of abuse. Secondly, we do intervention; when there is a victim of child abuse, CARE House does the forensic interviewing of the child in the presence of (a representative of) the Department of Social Services and (a member of) the police force. This way, when a child experiences such a horrible thing, they only have to be interviewed once, and it is done in a very appropriate setting by a professional interviewer who will ask the appropriate questions.
2. DDN: How prevalent is child abuse?
LP: Nationwide, one in four girls, and one in six boys, will suffer from some form of abuse. That is an unbelievable statistic. CARE House has a motto — “It shouldn’t hurt to be a child” — and I really feel that needs to be advocated. (Abuse) is happening right in our own backyards; it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. Victims need to know they have a place they can reach out to. CARE House provides a variety of therapy options for victims, including individual, group, and family.
3. DDN: How long does the organization stay involved with a child?
LP: We follow the child’s progress multiple years after an event to make sure that this is not something that is going to impact them for the rest of their life. All of this comes back to the fact that this is something prevalent in our society that people don’t really want to talk about, but that needs to be brought to (the public’s) attention.
4. DDN: How is the organization funded?
LP: While we do get some grants and funding from different foundations, we have to raise somewhere around $600,000 a year to keep the doors of CARE House open. (The 2014 CARE Night Charity Ball, which will be held Saturday at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights) is one of our largest fundraisers that provides that needed funding.
5. DDN: Mark Davidoff, managing partner of Deloitte’s Michigan practice, will be honored at this year’s event. Tell me why he was selected?
LP: First of all, he is just an amazingly philanthropic man. He is a vice chairman for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and was part of their restructuring. He is also a vice chairman for the Children’s Trust Fund, and involved in the Jewish Fund’s charitable causes. He is a tireless advocate for people less fortunate than himself, but for CARE House, it was his focus on children that got our attention. Mark is very focused on supporting children, and making their lives better in the state of Michigan.
To learn more about the upcoming CARE Night Charity Ball, to be held at the GM Heritage Center, call 248-332-7173 or click here.