Shelter Benefits Primarily From Community Contributions reports RainBee
(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 18, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA -- Private charitable contributions are bolstering a state service that meets the basic needs, including shelter, of area children and teens.

The Northwest Arkansas Childrens Shelter is furnished with enough beds for 48 young people. It is usually temporary home to 42-46 children and teens at a time.

These young people receive a bed, food, onsite counseling, and education.

The state pays an annual stipend of $492,195, or $84 per child per day, to help the shelter operate, according to Linda Phillips, shelter director of development. That number will not increase in the near future, she noted, adding, they are letting people know there are no increases coming.

Thank goodness for the contributions of local corporations, small business, and individuals, said Phillips. Most of the shelters funding (about 80%) comes from such private donations. The state kicks in 20%.

Community members donate to the shelter in other ways, including by giving their time to help maintain the facility, spend time with children, and assist with outreach projects, said Phillips.
The shelter would not exist without the generosity of the community, said Steve Schotta, executive director. The community made the decision to do everything possible (to make the shelter a success).

Annual fundraisers, including the Starlight Gala, Golf Classic, and Tailgate for the Kids, generate money for the shelter both from ticket sales and corporate sponsorships. The 2012 Tailgate for Kids event, held Oct. 13, netted $132,000, a significant increase over last years $90,000.

Shelter Annual Giving Manager Frankie Rankin and Schotta chalk up the events success to the Tailgate for the Kids Steering Committee obtaining more sponsor participation than in past years.

The formula for succeeding with this kind of an event is very much like the approach it takes to succeed on the football field, talented people who develop and execute a sound game-plan, said Schotta. It takes dedication and hard work, and the Tailgate Committee scored, big-time. But their victory is even more meaningful when you realize that 100% of the net proceeds of this event go to help abused and neglected kids, who need some wins in their lives. And it is our community, with people like our Tailgate Committee and our wonderful corporate sponsors, who help us to help them achieve those everyday victories.

Yet another means of donating to the shelter is the Circle of Care program, which serves as a member-based giving club. Members pledge to donate at least $500 per year.

Third-party fundraisers, in which companies and organizations host events from which proceeds benefit the shelter, are another way in which the facility benefits. An upcoming example is the Nov. 9 through Dec. 16 benefit in which Northwest Arkansas Orange Leaf Stores will give three ounces of free frozen yogurt to anyone donating a pair of new pajamas for shelter children.

Orange Leaf is an unconventional brand and we wanted to do something different from the more traditional food or coat drive this holiday season, said Reese Travis, CEO of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. Memories of cozy pajamas during the winter months warm our souls.

Through our Pajama Drive, Orange Leaf is hoping to help thousands of people stay a little warmer this winter, too. Sometimes its the simple things like a warm pair of pajamas that can really make a difference. Every time we dont have to spend money on those items is money we can spend somewhere else, he said.

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