EUGENE — Hundreds of children from the Lane County area have already been served by a new non-profit whose name is a reflection of the founders’ faith.
As reported by KVAL-TV, The ElRod Center at 105 E. Hilliard Lane helps children and teens heal from emotional issues through play and artistic expression with a variety of group therapy classes, including creative dance, art, and more.
The center operates out of a leased 3,000 square-foot building.
Julie Nowacki, who co-founded the center with licensed professional counselor Marian Stiegeler, said the program’s name honors the memory of a family member named Rod who took his own life in 2016.
“The name ElRod stands for Empowering Lives Reclaiming Our Destiny, and literally the name was given to me by God,” Nowacki explained. “I wanted to honor Rod’s name. ElRod stands for ‘God Our King.’ ’’
“If you would have asked me two years ago, I would have had no idea I was going to open something like this,” she added. “Everything has been completely ordained by God and we are just saying yes with a currency of faith.”
The ElRod Center officially got its nonprofit status in April. Since then, Stiegeler says they’ve served well over 500 children and families in the community.
According to KVAL, that included Angela O’Brien and her 13-year-old daughter. O’Brien said she is a firm believer that art is a huge part of dealing with emotions, so she was very excited to hear about ElRod Center and that it could be a place where her daughter could “vent” and heal through artistic expression.