BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 11, 2007 – Recent reports reveal that more than 2,800 claims of child abuse are made annually in Northwest Arkansas, an issue that costs the region’s taxpayers more than $75 million per year. Thanks to a $1 million donation from the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation, a local child abuse treatment organization, Children’s House has launched “The Campaign for Children,” an effort to build a new facility and expand services to help even more abused children in Northwest Arkansas.
Started in 1978, under the umbrella of Economic Opportunity Agency, Inc., Children’s House is the only organization of its kind in the State of Arkansas to provide treatment and therapy to address the psychological damage and severe developmental delays caused by abuse exclusively to children ages 18 months to 5 years. Over the years, Children’s House has served hundreds of children and families in Northwest Arkansas, but its current facilities in Fayetteville only allow outreach to a maximum of 22 students at any given time.
“That’s why we’re launching ‘The Campaign for Children,’” said Trish Artripe, Director of Children’s House. “There are so many kids in Northwest Arkansas who we know we can help, if only we had the facilities to reach them all. Last year, the City of Springdale generously donated to us a spacious piece of property on North Lowell Road, where we plan to break ground for a new and much bigger building with the money raised through our Campaign. Once complete, the new facility will allow us to serve up to 72 kids at a time.”
The $1 million donation from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced today represents the first major financial commitment toward “The Campaign for Children” and according to Artripe puts Children’s House “one step closer to fulfilling our dream of expanding our services.” Wal-Mart, noted last year by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest corporate cash contributor in America, has a long history of supporting organizations with a focus on children and education.
“Operate globally and give back locally – that’s our giving philosophy at Wal-Mart,” said Ray Bracy, senior vice president of Wal-Mart corporate affairs. “We are committed to being a good corporate citizen in our home community and Northwest Arkansas is so fortunate to have an organization like Children’s House. They are making a profound difference by helping to rehabilitate children in our area who have suffered the consequences of abuse and neglect, and we at Wal-Mart are proud to lend a hand to assist with their outreach.”
Children’s House plans to break ground on their new 23,000 square-foot facility in fall of 2008. In honor of Wal-Mart’s participation as the first founding partner of the “Campaign for Children,” Children’s House has announced the education wing of the new center will be named the “Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Education Wing.” Additional announcements toward “The Campaign for Children” will be announced at the June 29 Summer Salsa, an annual event benefiting Children’s House.
About Children’s House
Children’s House is the only center in the State of Arkansas providing long-term treatment, therapy and early childhood education exclusively to abused and neglected children between the ages of 18-months and 5-years of age. The organization provides a safe, secure place for children to overcome the devastating effects of abuse and neglect, regardless of social, or economic, background. Children’s House is a friendly, home-like environment, providing assessment, childhood development services, education services and therapy in one location, sparing the child from going to multiple locations in order to provide for their educational, developmental, psychological and social needs. Of equal importance, families also learn skills to strengthen their ability to nurture, raise and educate their children. For more information, visit www.childrenshousenwa.org.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.