The goal of SOS is to provide direct service hours and support to various agencies to provide significant Issue Based Community Impact. At present, SOS works with EOA Children’s House, Early Childhood Center at Ozark Guidance Center, and Peace at Home Family Shelter.
Examples of current projects include:
- Hosting graduation ceremonies and celebrations for Children’s House. These events provide a safe and fun environment for students and families to enjoy their achievements and look forward to the next step in the educational development.
- Hosting “Moms and Muffins” and “Dads and Donuts” at Children’s House. These events provide a fun, safe, and monitored environment for students to interact with their families.
- Hosting various field trips for Children’s House.
- Easter Celebration for Peace at Home Family Shelter. This event provides a fun, safe and monitored environment for residents at PAH as well as individuals and families they serve.
- Various work days for Peace at Home Family Shelter. These events provide much needed “boots on the ground” support for the agency. JLNWA is able to increase the capacity of the agency by providing direct service such as this.
The Junior League of Northwest Arkansas works with several agencies that provide services for families affected by domestic violence, including Children’s House and Peace at Home Family Shelter, both located in Springdale, and Restoration Village and Havenwood of Benton County.
The Peace at Home Family Shelter is a 31-bed emergency shelter for women and children in danger. It also operates a 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year crisis hotline assisting clients with referral services, safety planning and seeking shelter at the facility. The shelter works with its clients to help them remain independent of their abusers by providing legal accompaniment, offering emotional support, helping them find employment and transitional housing and providing community referrals. The shelter also offers emotional support through weekly support groups including parenting, substance abuse, and sexual assault and domestic violence recovery.
The Junior League of Northwest Arkansas supports Peace at Home by assisting with tasks such as deep cleaning the kitchen, cooking meals for the residents and delivering them to the shelter, and providing the shelter with needed items such as diapers and toiletry items. These services are provided by League volunteers in an effort to allow the shelter and the residents more time to focus on healing. The League also plans and hosts and Easter party for residents, former residents and their children to encourage healthy family interaction.
EOA Children’s House is a year-round therapeutic child development and crisis intervention center that serves children from 6 weeks old through 5 years old who have suffered from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and life-threatening neglect. There is no other program in the state of Arkansas that offers this array of services to abused and neglected children. The facility that houses EOA Children’s House, the Pat Walker Center for Children, is the largest long-term early childhood abuse treatment and prevention center in the United States of America.
The services provided at EOA Children’s House are ongoing and long-term in nature. It is not uncommon for a child to come to EOA Children’s House at 18 months old and continue to receive services until they enter kindergarten, 3½ years later. Services range from psychological, physical, speech and occupational therapies to early childhood development and education services.
The Junior League is responsible for making the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas Literacy Center possible in the Pat Walker Center for Children. The Teacher Workroom and Educational Materials Library in the center are where the teachers and staff prepare all of the educational materials used in the classroom every day with the children. The Junior League also provides support for events that bring children and families together and help them realize their full potential. These events include the annual graduation ceremony, open house for families, “Moms and Muffins,” “Dads and Donuts” and many others. League volunteers also help mark milestones in the lives of the children by helping create scrapbooks for each child. This is an important service because many of the children are removed from their parents’ homes and otherwise would not have a record of their childhood and memories.