Children’s Safety Center, Shana Kasparek
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce is proud to present our “Chamber Champions” series. In 2016, our Chamber team will be volunteering over 350 hours at local non-profits throughout Northwest Arkansas. We are proud to support our non-profits and hope our efforts will inspire our Chamber members to reach out in our community and volunteer.
When you walk into the Children’s Safety Center in Springdale, the first thing you see are thousands of colorful. Since 1997, the Children’s Safety Center has been a safe haven for abused children in Northwest Arkansas. They provide a more comfortable environment for interviews, medical exams, and counseling for children who are physically and sexually abused. Every child they help gets to put their handprint on the wall.
There are too many handprints.
In 2015, the Children’s Safety Center provided services to 546 children. They conducted 479 forensic interviews, and provided over 1,100 therapy sessions. The average age of their client is 9 years of age. On average, it costs more than $1,600 for each child the CSC serves. All of the services at the CSC are provided free of charge. The Center depends on donations to help them support their clients. They also have several events throughout the year to help support their efforts, including the Founder’s Crawfish Boil, Dream Big, and the Christmas Train.
When I arrived at the Center to volunteer, I was greeted with smiles and words of gratitude. The team at the Children’s Safety Center are a family. They even sit down all together every day to eat lunch. It is this sense of family that enables Executive Director Elizabeth Shackelford and her team to help the kids that walk through those doors. I spent the day getting to know the team as I helped organize their filing system. I also helped sort through the many generous donations they receive. Everything from snacks and stuffed animals for the children, to the cleaning and office supplies they need to efficiently run the Center.
Emily Rappe’ Fisher, the Development Director for the Children’s Safety Center helped me organize my volunteer day at the Center through our Chamber Champions program. “We were so excited when Shana asked if she could volunteer at the Center. Not only was she up for any job we gave her, but she was determined to get it done with a smile on her face. She also talked to our team about their roles in helping children and asked questions about the process. This service was invaluable to us because we know with Shana’s job at the Fayetteville Chamber she is constantly meeting new people and can connect us with different community members. Thank you Shana for being an amazing friend and volunteer. You are welcomed back to the CSC any time!”
For more information about the Children’s Safety Center, or to donate or volunteer, please contact Emily at 479-872-6183. Help erase some of the handprints on their walls…