The Cleveland Browns players volunteered more than 900 hours of community service in 2012, and the organization’s efforts were recognized and honored at the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center’s (DVCAC) annual Sweet Dreams Gala at the Cleveland Intercontinental Hotel Saturday.
The Browns were recognized for their work with children, which includes programs such as Vision First (eyeglasses for underserved children), Touchdown for Reading, and Tickets for Kids, as well as the work done by the Browns’ Women’s Organization.
“For a non-profit to recognize us, as a business, for our philanthropy and corporate giving really means a lot to us,” said Renee Harvey, vice president of community outreach for the Browns. “For a standout organization such as DVCAC to think highly of the work our organization does in the community, means the work we are doing is making an impact and that is our ultimate goal off the field.”
The goal of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center is “helping every child have a peaceful night.” Through the Sweet Dreams Gala, the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center raises money and awareness for their child-abuse prevention programs.
“A lot of what our programs do is intervene with child abuse and offer children the opportunity to heal. We also offer prevention,” said Linda Dooley-Johanek, CEO of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center. “We go into schools and we educate children. We educate teachers and parents about signs of child abuse, and really, the results of that program have been amazing.”
Dooley-Johanek said “it was so fitting” to honor the Browns at the Sweet Dreams Gala because of their work with children in the Greater Cleveland community.
“The Cleveland Browns really focus a lot on children,” Dooley-Johanek said. “They’re very generous in the community, very active, but they really do want to invest in children and focus on health and well-being.
“Our organization has three pillars: to empower individuals, educate the community and advocate for justice. When I look at the Cleveland Browns and their agenda for children in the community, it really fits in very well. There are lots of great people and organizations out there that we could honor, but we really thought the work of the Browns was so worthy to honor.”