Doing Good: Children’s Shelter expects more calls as school starts

Doing Good

COVID-19 puts an extra strain on the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter's staff.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations due to canceled events.

The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter youth care staff is a dedicated team.

“We have three shifts, 24 hours a day. They are here working with and caring for our kids,” NWACS Director of Human Resources Krystal Bequette said.

It makes a huge difference in abused and abandoned children’s lives.

“They are probably some of the first responsible adults that may be in some of these kids’ lives,” NWACS Interim Executive Director Rick Brazile said.

They help give kids a real childhood.

“They’re the ones that help with the birthday parties, provide those. They’re the ones that take them horseback riding or on hikes. I’ve seen them out there teaching them to ride a bike, how to fish,” Brazile said.

They have even more work now. Volunteers are restricted due to COVID-19 and there is more to be done to keep the shelter clean.

“Costs are up but we’ve had to cancel events,” Brazile said.

Events like Kickball 4 the Kids and the Golf Classic have been canceled or severely limited.

“It’s golf, kickball, but if you think about other events like the LPGA, we had concession stands out there. So there were a lot of other events that brought in amounts from $5,000 to $10,000,” Brazile said.

In total, these events bring in almost $200,000 a year. That money will be needed as school starts back up because teachers are often the ones to report suspected abuse.

“Eyes and mandated reporters are not on the kids because you don’t know what kind of abuse they’re enduring during this. So we do expect our account to rise,” Bequette said.

If the accounts do rise, the youth care team is up to the challenge.

Brazile said if you can give just $10 to $20, that could help feed a kid for a whole week. If you’re interested in giving, click here.

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