EARLY, Texas -

A center for abused children may soon be coming to Brown County, but it needs $55,000 to be up and running.

Its members need about $15,000 more to meet their goal, which they hope to do by selling raffle tickets.

The Heart of Texas Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) executive director Christy Robinson said the center's purpose is to serve kids who have been abused, neglected and/or abducted as well as those who have witnessed violent acts, mainly by conducting forensic interviews.

"It saddens me that so many kids in Brown County and Mills county suffer from abuse," Robinson said. "I have four kids and if something were to happen to them, I would want somebody to do whatever they could to make that better."

According to the Texas Association for the Protection of Children, about 175 kids statewide are victims of abuse and neglect every day, about seven every hour.

The Early Police Department said child abuse is a bigger problem than people realize. They said they are very supportive of the center because it would save them time from driving to and from Burnett, which is where one of the two closest centers for abused children are located, the other in Abilene.

The Heart of Texas CAC is a non-profit organization. While its board members receive an annual grant, they have to match it 100 percent. Much of the funding comes from the City of Early, the City of Brownwood, Brown and Mill Counties, and the local community.

Tickets can be purchased at the center on 1409 Early Blvd. in person or by calling or texting (325) 200-9464. The raffle will be drawn on June 1st and winners will receive tickets to Six Flags or for a Seals Gymnastics birthday party.