Springfield non-profit to host virtual fundraiser to help possibly abused children


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –The coronavirus pandemic has forced many non-profits to get creative and flexible with their fundraising.

Non-profits rely heavily on in-person fundraising events.

But as the stay at home orders were put in place, the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield decided to host a virtual fundraising event to help support children who may have been abused.

“We’re a non-profit so, you know, raising funds is how we support our programming and during the stay at home orders, we didn’t get to stop providing our services,” Lori Barnes Miller, development director of Child Advocacy Center in Springfield said. “Child abuse didn’t stop.”

She says since stay at home orders were put in place, the center has been struggling to raise funds since most fundraising opportunities are usually done face-to-face.

“With every non-profit not being able to have the in-person events and things like that, is looking at, the buzzword was, ‘pivoting to virtual events,’ and things like that and we didn’t really have anything that would do that necessarily,” Barnes Miller said. “We were trying to come up with something to raise some money just a little bit different and so we started looking at raffle packages.”

The center decided to send a few people on a “staycation” since most summer vacations have been postponed or even canceled as a result of the virus.

“Then the big thing was, ‘How do we figure out what people want?’ And then people started talking about canceling their summer vacations and things like that and we were like, ‘Okay. That’s what we need to concentrate on, is maybe some staycation or little getaway packages,” Barnes Miller said.

She says it’s important the center remain fundraising to make sure they can help children who may have been abused.

“Staying at home was safer for lots of people, not for children in abusive situations,” Barnes Miller said. “It was actually probably worse. Our numbers, again, didn’t go away. A lot of things that were coming through our doors were maybe a little more severe than we were normally seeing because children were at home all the time with their abusers.”

The center is using a new slogan for the fundraiser, unwind to unmask child abuse.

“We think about wearing masks was keeping ourselves and other people safe, right now, but there’s a lot of children in our community that wear, sort of, this mask all the time of the abuse,” Barnes Miller said.

Barnes Miller also said child abuse hotline calls dropped dramatically during the pandemic since most calls are made by people like teachers.

And if you’re wanting to enter the raffle it’s going on through June 30.

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