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RIDGWAY — Those looking to positively impact a family or child suffering abuse this Christmas can do so through a nearby organization.

CAPSEA — Citizens Against Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse, Inc. — aims to protect the rights of women, men and children impacted by abuse, crime or homelessness in Elk and Cameron counties through confidential, ongoing services such as crisis and support counseling and a 24-hour crisis hotline.

CAPSEA, based in Ridgway, also provides a domestic violence emergency shelter for families, women and children who need a safe place to go.

Executive Director Billie Jo Weyant said the organization, started in 1977, helps more than 1,000 people each year.

“Every year, CAPSEA tries to help make Christmas a little brighter for families that we are working with,” she said. “This includes families in the shelter over the holidays, and families that we work with in non-shelter counseling situations.”

There are a couple of ways people can help, Weyant said, including monetary donations or buying an item for a child. In past years, people have donated money, gift cards to places like Walmart, Sheetz or grocery stores and toys for children, she says. They can also choose to “adopt” a family or individual, who may not otherwise receive anything for Christmas.

Contact CAPSEA at 814-772-3838 or visit for more information.