Casual for a Cause
Payne Wealth Partners happily participates in Casual for a Cause as the program reflects our commitment to community perfectly. Team members choose a charity to support each quarter to which they make a personal monetary donation and then dress casual on Friday. As a company, Payne Wealth Partners also provides a monetary donation to the charity of choice. One of our core values is community. We value sharing our resources, time and talents with our local community, and Casual for a Cause participation is one of many ways we do so.
3rd Quarter 2013 Recipient
Ark Crisis Child Care center isn’t like a “traditional” child care center. Parents don’t sign up their children to attend our center for a year or more until the kids enter school. We are here to provide free, short-term care for children aged 6-weeks to 6 years when families are in crisis.
Ark is the ONLY free resource in Indiana for families looking for child care while they are stressed. Our primary goal is to prevent abuse by providing child care for “stressed-out” parents so they don’t take out their frustrations on their children. Ark also provides care when a parent is looking for work or if a parent has found a job but needs to save money for daycare. Ark is available when parents go to counseling, rehab, attend school, court, medical appointments or many other reasons.
We provide a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack for each child in our care; we supply all diapers, wipes and formula for our babies. Ark operates a clothing bank and also has a lending library so parents can “check out” books for their children to take home.
This community needs Ark. Our teachers are often the only people outside of the family unit who see the children and can identify signs of abuse or neglect. Ark works closely with local domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and other community partners to provide families with a place for their children while they seek to build new, stable lives. We also provide a safe haven for children who are removed from their homes by police or DCS until a foster family can be identified. If Ark doesn’t care for these children and families, no one else will.
Sometimes, the kids we meet come from very sad circumstances.
We first met two particular boys about two years ago. They came to Ark with a foster mom who was caring for the boys after they’d been removed from their mother’s home. The mother’s boyfriend was accused of abusing the children while they slept. The youngest was so traumatized that he refused to fall asleep at naptime in any position other than sitting up in a chair. The boys were with us for several weeks until their foster family enrolled in a traditional childcare center.
A few months later, Ark got a call from the Department of Children’s Services. The case manager was bringing the brothers back to Ark after removing them from their mother’s home again. When the boys arrived at Ark, their faces lit up. The case manager told me the boys became very excited when they arrived at Ark, telling her, “We know this place, it’s our school!” Despite being removed from their mother’s home for the second time in just a few months, returning to Ark was enough to bring smiles to their faces, Ark was a “safe, familiar” place for the boys and the bonds they’d formed with our teachers were still there.
The brothers came back to us again, several months later, after being placed with a third foster family in less than a year and a half. The boys have been through too much in their young lives. They have felt too much pain and been asked to trust strangers too often. Each time the boys return, our teachers know something bad has happened. But it renews our commitment to care for the children who are in need of love and kindness.
I see the value of our crisis care program in the eyes of every child who comes through our doors with bruises down their backs, with black eyes or with bleeding diaper rash. I know Ark makes a difference for families who initially come to us scared, angry and defeated, yet leave with hope, confidence and smiles.
Payne Wealth Partners is proud to have Ark Crisis Child Care Center as our third quarter “Casual for a Cause” recipient. Visit Ark Crisis Child Care Center’s website for more information.