At any given time, there are around 700 kids in the Concho Valley who are in CPS care. Many of them are removed from their homes with nothing. That's where the Rainbow Room comes in. They not only fill basic needs like food and clothing, they also give the kids hope.
"One of the biggest things we try to focus on is making sure they can get through the first 48 hours because a lot of that time is being spent in the back of case worker's vans,” Rainbow Room Coordinator Tiffany Zoetewey said.
And being placed in a different home where everything is new can be traumatizing. Especially when you have nothing.
"They don’t have diapers, or they haven't had anything to eat, or they don't have clean clothes, some of them have never owned their own toothbrush,” Zoetewey said.
But after case workers come to the rainbow room, the kids at least have a few things to call their own...and that can make a big difference.
"They have a little bit of dignity as they're going into these new places, they have new clothes and hygiene items that they may have never had before,” Zoetewey said.
But the rainbow room also tries to prevent kids being removed from homes. Sometimes the families just need a few safety items or cleaning supplies, things their case workers can also get here.
"These things can help the family going through services even when their being monitored so the kids can stay with mom and dad and that's one of the biggest goals,” Zoetewey said.
"September 2016 to august 2017, we served 280 children. There were 880 items removed from this room,” Concho Valley Community Partners Board Chair Misty Barron said.
That should give you some perspective about the need for donations, bothitems and money. Another need they're looking to fill, board members and volunteers.
"Board meetings take about an hour and I think last month I probably put in about 10 hours working with the board and I'm the chairperson so I probably had the heaviest of that responsibility,” Barron said.
If you can pass a background check and are willing to spend a few hours a month volunteering, your duties will be light but impact will be great.
"Just help get the room in order. Put the clothing together on hangers and sizes, putting diapers and baby wipes in packages so they can go out, restocking the room, also going through donations we receive,” Barron said.
If we want the world to change, we have to be the ones who change it. So how are you making a difference?