In 1974, Richard Nixon was the president of the United States, Hank Aaron passed Babe Ruth for 1st place on the all-time home runs list and the Orange County Rape Crisis Center was founded.
Since then, eight different men have become commander-in-chief and Aaron’s record has been surpassed by Barry Bonds, but the OCRCC remains a staple in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and surrounding communities.
However, a lot has changed within the Center. Last Friday, the OCRCC held an open house and 45th Anniversary Kickoff at their new office space on East Franklin Street, which was much needed because their previous space was unable to accommodate the expanding staff of the organization.
“In the last year, they have been so cramped with space, two, three people in a space trying to share the space,” Shanda Hamlett, a member of the Center's Board of Directors, said.
At the event, the OCRCC set up a game of bingo, where visitors could share a piece of cake, learn about the organization’s services, take their picture in a photo booth and practice responding to a crisis in order to fill out their card and receive a prize.
The organization is led by Executive Director Rachel Valentine, a UNC graduate.
Valentine said she first learned about the organization when representatives visited one of her undergraduate classes, and she immediately developed an “organization crush,” as she called it, on the Center.
Valentine took over as executive director in July of last year, and she is extremely proud of the variety of resources and services the Center offers, especially how accessible they are to anyone who needs help.
“Our agency offers help, hope and healing through 24-hour, totally free and confidential support services,” Valentine said.