“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”

—Frank Warren

Mary Whittier

~ how Rochester’s children live a richer life ~

A fireball of forward motion, fueled by a full and generous heart. Vision, passion, grit—the necessary elements to start an innovative not-for-profit from scratch. Sheer determination and the knowledge that things could be so much better, for the most vulnerable children. That’s Mary Whittier. 

A legacy of service to 2,000 children a year whose lives are cruelly interrupted by child sexual abuse. A place of healing, hope and resilience. Enter the family waiting room expecting to feel fear and anxiety, and instead be wrapped with comfort and compassion, and love. That’s the house that Mary Whittier built.

Eighty professionals, working in intense collaboration, constantly aware that the child comes first. From police to social workers, from prosecutors to therapists, from M.D.’s to volunteers, the children at Bivona Child Advocacy Center are surrounded by competency, and caring. That’s the team that Mary Whittier built.

Work that will go on, methods that will get better, awareness that will grow, children who will heal. That’s the legacy of Mary Whittier.

Mary, we don’t expect to find you rocking a chair on a porch any time soon. But we do hope you take some months to enjoy Chloe and Jonah and Jack, and maybe a fair bit of time in a hammock on a beach.

And then, we‘ll see you around town.

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

—Tom Robbins