SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The goal of Isabel’s House is to keep the kids at a safe place, away from situations where they’re more vulnerable to abuse or neglect, while their families work through a crisis.
This month they are celebrating ten years in which they have helped hundreds of children.
“I was a very small part,” said Holly Beadle, executive director at Isabel’s House. “Just one volunteer of hundreds of volunteers,”
Ten years ago she the groundbreaking where the house now stands. And now she is the executive director here.
“It’s an honor,” she says.
Isabel’s House was built to protect children from abuse or neglect while their families work through a crisis, which can be anything from homelessness, housing issues, utilities shut off, a physical or mental illness, or fleeing domestic violence.
In the past decade, Isabel’s House welcomed more than 3,800 kids, anywhere from 300 to 400 a year.
“That’s a lot of little ones from birth to 12 years old,” said Beadle.
Just this week, 16 kids are there. But that number could change next week.
“Average length of stay is about 12 days,” Beadle said.
The kids have a ride to and from shcool. Here, they can sleep, eat and play, and simply be children. Something they might not have had at home.
“We know that families are are struggling,” siad Beadle.
A state contract is about 20 percent of the house’s budget – the rest comes from donations from individuals or businesses.
The house also counts on the help of 60 active volunteers.
“Oh, I love children,” said Virgalene Mallett, one of those volunteers, performing whatever duties need to be done. “It’s a house with children, so there’s a multitude of different things that need to be done.”
Stocking, putting groceries away, cleaning, playing with children are among some tasks.
“My favorite thing is rock those babies,” said Mallett.
And as volunteers and staff welcome the little ones who come through their doors and make it feel like home.
“We are just kind of a family member is the best way to look at it,” said Beadle.
They go back to their own homes with more than they walked in Isabel’s House with.
“I go away every week feeling recharged and full of love,” said Mallett.
A community celebration will be held this upcoming Saturday, June 17 at the Jordan Valley Park where donations can be dropped off. After that, the party moves to the Springfield Cardinals baseball game for Isabel’s House night at the ballpark.
For more information on the birthday celebration, click here.