Let me tell you Abby’s story. It was one of the worst cases of neglect the police officer had ever seen. The children were covered in grime, clearly malnourished and sleeping on filthy pallets on the floor. The house had no running water and roaches infested the kitchen. There were visible scratches, bruises and burns […]Read more about AbbyImpact stories
Let me tell you Abby’s story.
It was one of the worst cases of neglect the police officer had ever seen. The children were covered in grime, clearly malnourished and sleeping on filthy pallets on the floor. The house had no running water and roaches infested the kitchen. There were visible scratches, bruises and burns on the children’s bodies. This wasn’t the first time their caregiver had been arrested.
After the children were removed from the home, they arrived at the doors of the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter. They were scared, tired and hungry. We welcomed them with open arms. The Shelter team immediately sprang into action by serving the children a hot meal, giving each child a bath, providing them with clean clothing and beginning treatment for rashes, burns and lice. Abby was the oldest child living in the home — a young girl of less than seven years. Confused and extremely angry, she lashed out at the Shelter team because she had never trusted an adult in her life. She didn’t know how to react when we tried to care for her. She had been deprived of the love and affection of a family.
With patience and guidance from the Shelter team, Abby learned how to better handle her anger and frustration. She learned how to use kind words and how to depend on the adults around her to meet her needs. Most importantly, she learned that, for the first time in her life, she had people who truly cared for her.
Now, Abby has discovered the joys of childhood.
She loves stuffed animals. She loves talking about kittens. She loves drawing pictures for her teacher. On a recent visit to Chick-fil-A, she was so excited about eating in a “real” restaurant and even more excited about joining the other children in the play area. In our care, Abby learned how to laugh and have fun. Her laugh is so infectious, it can turn a bad day into a great one!
Abby is just one of the more than 10,000 children in Arkansas who experienced abuse or neglect last year. For the past 5 years, Washington County has ranked #2 and Benton County #3 for substantiated cases of child abuse. Yes, child abuse is very real and, yes, it is happening in OUR community.
The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter serves as the first point of refuge for children from throughout Arkansas who have suffered the trauma of abuse or neglect. Here, they are safe, loved and given the opportunity to just be kids again.
We need your help to combat the effects of abuse and neglect on our kids. Your gift to the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter not only provides a warm bed and three meals per day, but also the opportunity for children like Abby to begin the process of healing. Help our children to know that they are loved with your gift.
Henry, age 4
My new bed makes me happy. And I am clean and have a new shirt.
Tonya, age 17
I learned that love is better than hate.
Kiyasha, age 15
The staff treated me as if I were their family. They were always there for me and always reminded me of my worth.
860 NW Vaughn Road
Bentonville, AR 72713
2700 W Walnut
If you are interested in a rewarding job providing a safe haven and loving care to the most vulnerable children in our community, apply today!