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West Virginia Children’s Initiative Receives
Nelson Mullins Foundation Grant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Oct. 11, 2016)–A West Virginia children’s program received a $25,000 grant from law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Tuesday to further its mission of preventing and mitigating the effects of children’s exposure to trauma. The West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice, a program of the West Virginia State Police, received the donation for its Handle With Care program.

The grant comes from a donor-directed foundation fund Nelson Mullins maintains to provide yearly assistance to organizations that serve the legal needs of low-income children. The law firm has provided Fellowship grants to support attorneys working on children's issues since the program's inception in 1997.

Nelson Mullins partner Melissa Foster Bird made the presentation during the West Virginia Center for Children's Justice’s Handle With Care Conference.

Ms. Bird said the Firm chose Handle With Care for the donation after hearing about the work of the organization.

“As a mother, I want to send my kids off to school after a good breakfast and with smiles on their faces. Before learning of Handle With Care, I had never really thought about those kids who have traumatic experiences going on at home and have no way to speak up and tell anyone what they are going through. This program helps take that burden off the children,” she said.  

A recent national survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence and trauma revealed that 60 percent of American children have been exposed to violence, crime, or abuse. Handle With Care promotes school-community partnerships aimed at ensuring that children who are exposed to trauma in their home, school, or community receive appropriate interventions to help them achieve academically at their highest levels despite whatever traumatic circumstances they may have endured.

Andrea Darr, director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice, noted that Handle With Care “is spreading very quickly around the state of West Virginia and around the country.”

“This financial support from Nelson Mullins helps us continue in our mission of helping children succeed every day in school to the best of their ability despite the trauma they might have experienced in their homes and communities,” she said.

For more information on Handle With Care, visit

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has more than 500 attorneys and other professionals with offices in Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. For more information on the Firm, go to

For additional information, contact Jan Easterling, Nelson Mullins Communications Coordinator, at 800.237.2000, ext. 9794.

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