BENTONVILLE, AR-- For 20 years, the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter has been an emergency safe haven for kids needing a happy home. Executive director Steve Schotta says decking the halls with Christmas decor makes them feel like a family.
"They need to feel secure, we don't always know the circumstances that they are coming from", said schotta.
The shelter helps to create new holiday habits for little ones coming from hardships at home forced to grow up and forget about being a kid.
Schotta said, "We celebrate with ten wrapped presents per child, as well as all the stockings and all the other fun things."
The community plays a key role in leading these kids from feeling helpless to feeling happy.... one handprint at a time.
"Not only you know our operating needs throughout the year are clothes, and personal items and things like that but at the holiday season", said Schotta.
Marketing Director, Greg Russell, says consistant contributions from the community is what keeps the shelter going.
"The outpouring of generosity by the community makes up the biggest part of our operating budget", said Russell.
The gift of giving is the best way to ring in the new year... complete with a priceless reward for those paying it forward.
Russell said, "you can actually see the transformations in these kids lives, we like to say that we like to give kids the gift of hope here of seeing a different way of life that they may not have been exposed to and that they can have a better more rewarding future because of that and there is no more rewarding gift than that."
To donate to Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, goods can be dropped off year round, or you can visit their secure donation portal at NWACS.ORG.