The History of C.A.R.E.

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Our Mission

To help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Charlotte County. C.A.R.E. works to create safety in our community by helping survivors and by promoting non-violent and healthy relationships by education and example.

Board of Directors


Alyson Burch: Chair

Cait Waksler: Vice Chair

Megan Dubbanch: Treasurer

Marie Hicks: Secretary

Kelly Evans

Katie Wallace

Shawna Ross

Bill Prummell

Mary Grace Lorah

Misty Raines

Toni Ivankovic

Executive Director

“I’ve always been motivated to help women,” McElhaney said. “It’s what I always wanted to do.”

Karen McElhaney grew up in Pittsburgh earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a master’s degree in Social Sciences from Capella University. Karen & family relocated to Charlotte County in 2012 from Canton Ohio where she provided social work at Mercy Medical Center. She currently resides in Port Charlotte with her husband, Don. They have a total of seven children and step-children, and seven grandchildren. She became Executive Director of C.A.R.E. in 2016 bringing over 20 years of non-profit experience with her.

“I want C.A.R.E. to be available for every victim. If you don’t personally know about C.A.R.E., your neighbor does, your family does, and you’re going to get that help. That’s what is important.”

Sourced from Charlotte Sun| Article by Rusty Pray: Guardian of a safe haven originally printed May 19, 2019

Edited/Updated  July 2021

Community Partners

C.A.R.E. appreciates the contributions all of our Community Partners. Click the link below to see our full list.

Our Locations

Punta Gorda

P.O. Box 510234 Punta Gorda, FL 33951-0234



6868 San Casa Dr Englewood, FL 34224


Our Funders