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Highlight # 15 – The Smallest of Those We Serve

Almost 1/2 of the residents living in the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter are children.

And almost 1/2 of the children are in the age range of Birth to 4.Child-Graphic_2015

Children who live in our Shelter face the childhood trauma of fleeing a violent home environment.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, children who are exposed to domestic violence tend to perform poorly in school. They have more difficulty concentrating and completing their work in school. They also have lower scores than their peers in areas of motor, social, and verbal skills.[1]

We have a child advocate who focuses on helping the children in our shelter process the trauma and chaos to which they are exposed. She works not only with the children and their parents while they reside in the shelter, but she also organizes a child support group that meets when our adult support group meets.

We are committed to helping our children and our families strengthen their family interactions and adopt healthier emotional responses.

And there are many in our community who are also committed to helping us by investing in our children.

Ways our community has given to our smallest victims in 2015

  • Prepared them for school — in style and with confidence

IN Marketing Services wanted to help our kids succeed in school. They bought every kid in shelter and our outreach kids a brand new backpack filled with school supplies, as well as provided new outfits and shoes for each kid to go back to school with confidence and style.

  • Got them swimming

The Jones CeChild_1nter in Springdale provided free swimming for our kids.

  • Threw them a birthday party

The Birthday Blessings group threw parties for each kid that celebrates their special day with us.  The provide pizza, drinks, cake and ice cream for every resident. They shower the birthday child with attention and gifts and bring an air of joy and excitement to all who attend through feats of juggling, party games and a prize box.

  • Sent them to Fast Lanes

Fast Lanes Entertainment donated 50 free passes to our kids this summer. The kids were able to go bowling, play laser tag and drive go-carts for free–and enjoy being a kid.

  • Sent them down water slides

The team at the Rogers Aquatic Center asked their season pass holders to donate any passes that would go unused at the end of the summer.  Several of our kids got to go somewhere they’d never been before because of the generosity of our community.

  • Connected them with the wild

Gentry Safari donated a day of visiting to a van full of kids this summer.

  • Threw a great HallowChild3een Party!

Embassy Suites in Rogers hosted Trick or Suite to provide a safe environment for our kids and others in the community to trick or treat.  Before the big event, they also provided our clients with costumes in all sizes and with lots of props and make-up.

  • Gave them a great Christmas Season

Individuals, groups and teams sponsored our clients and their families for Christmas. Each child and adult who received our services was eligible to participate.

  • Got a personal visit from Santa!

The NWA Coupon Club made arrangements for Santa to visit the kids in shelter and brought gifts and stockings. Santa even brought gifts for all the adults, as well!

  • Gave an inside tour of a corporate jet

This past summer the team at Walmart Aviation invited the kids to come out to their facilities and take a tour. We got to sit in a corporate jet while a real pilot talked to us about flying.

  • Provided them with fun activities

A Layout Team at Walmart organized an Easter egg hunt and provided a pizza picnic afterwards for our in-shelter and outreach clients.

A Mary Kay team celebrated the holidays with our families by providing a meal. They then allowed the kids to pick out a special Mary Kay gift for their moms and assisted in wrapping them.

  • Gave them food

Summer time is hard on most families as kids are home for 3 meals a day. Rogers Public Schools delivered a healthy breakfast and lunch for EVERY kid residing in-shelter during the week.  Andy’s Frozen Custard donated boxes of frozen treats. The food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul kept us stocked in fresh fruit and vegetables for years—and earlier this year, our new partnership with the NWA Food Bank provided more fresh meat than we’ve ever seen here!

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Did you know summer months are our peak months for children living in the Shelter?

If you or a team would like to provide access to special activities or would like to donate to cover the costs for transportation or admittance to special activities, please contact us (479-246-0353, info@nwaws.org).

It’s time to begin planning for the summer!

Thank you to all of our community partners — individuals, groups, teams — for caring about the children

and for investing your time and money to help the smallest of the victims we serve!

[1] See http://www.nctsn.org/content/children-and-domestic-violence.

 

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