Our CALL Malls are always in need of donations and helping hands. This is such a huge resource for our families whenever they get placements. Here is a list of things that are the biggest need right now and information on where to donate!
- Boys Shirts (Long sleeve and warm for winter!) – Size 5-8
- Everyday/tennis shoes boy and girls size youth 1-6Items that need to be new. Please no used items
- Underwear, panties, socks, pajamas, diapers, wipes, pull-ups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, soap.
- And volunteers to come help sort and organize!!!
Due to the huge impact these visitation rooms can have on family reunification, two local churches have revamped the visitation rooms at Pulaski County DCFS’ offices.
“At the Arkansas Department of Human Services office on East Washington Street in North Little Rock, there is a room where children in foster care meet with their biological parents during supervised visits. It’s called the visitation room.
Every time Morgan Adams went there, the state of the space left her dejected.
“I thought, ‘My goodness, this is where children hang out with their parents, and it’s not OK,'” says Adams, 38, who lives in North Little Rock with her husband, Scott, their three children and their 9-month-old foster son. “It was very dirty with piles of toys and a couch that shouldn’t even be on a street corner.”
Although the room is a place for families to engage and connect, sometimes parents don’t show up.”Not only are the children left feeling sad and rejected, but then they’re in a gross room,” Adams says. “Our thought was that we can’t control the parents’ choices, but we can control the environment to an extent and the aesthetic impact it has on a child.”
Adams wanted to do something. As she was talking to friends about what steps to take, she learned of a plea from The Call, a faith-based group that works with adoptive and foster families, to fix up the room.
“I instantly replied that I would do it,” says Adams, a member of Sylvan Hills Church of Christ. “I knew I could get people to help, whether it was my church family or my family and friends.”
She started a registry at Amazon.com for items to spiff up the room — things like a TV, DVD player, a play kitchen, table, chairs, games, toys, a wall-mounted hand sanitizer station and a new sofa. Almost everything was bought within a couple of days, she says.
New floor tiles were installed, the walls got a fresh coat of paint and on Aug. 2, volunteers redecorated the area. A second visitation room was to be fixed up Saturday by volunteers from Sylvan Hills Community Church.
Adams hopes that the project influences others who want to lend a hand.
“Funding for these types of things is not there, and this is a group of people really overwhelmed with cases. They don’t have the time to reach out for help. I think that should be on us, on church groups and community groups to step up and say, ‘How can we help you?'”
Working with the state as a foster parent has also given Adams a greater appreciation for what caseworkers do.
“I have a whole new level of empathy for what they are dealing with every day,” she says. “They are literally in the trenches. They’re doing really heavy stuff, and it’s been a joy for me to get to know the people working in that office and to take on some of their perspective.””
You can read the full article here.
While the article was published before the second room was completed the following week, Sylvan Hills Community Church completed an incredible revamp as well (see pictures below)! We want to thank both Sylvan Hills Community Church and Sylvan Hills Church of Christ for their incredible work!
Visitation Room #1
Sponsored by Sylvan Hills Church of Christ
Visitation Room #2
Sponsored by Sylvan Hills Community Church
“To those trying to make a decision about fostering and/or adopting, I would like to share our experience in brief. My wife and I were told about The Call and went to a meeting at a church. At the meeting we got the information and the opportunity to put our foot forward in the direction of opening our home to the orphaned children in Arkansas. We soon realized in the training the seriousness and severity of the situations leading to a child being placed in foster care. We became aware that this was going to be more of a ministry that requires God’s help. Once we began with our first placement we felt an almost indescribable assurance of God’s approval and blessing. We soon found out the common goal of all was to reunite these kids back to their parents….We may foster and/or adopt more but what I like is the fact that we made the decision based on what we can do and what God wills us to do. We’ve learned it takes courage to make this decision but ultimately it is God’s approval that really matters. I hope our example helps and encourages you in this great endeavor.” -Jeffery
“To us foster care is more about the whole family, and not just the children. We love to see when a child can be reunited with family even if it’s not mom and dad. We got to experience this with our first foster son. He got to be reunited with his loving grandmother. Throughout, the last several years we have gotten to see him grow, meet and exceed expectations, and be apart of his life. This wouldn’t have been possible without reunification and the love and support of all of us. ” -Heidi