(ROCKWALL, TX — May 6, 2019) For the past 20 years, the Rainbow Room of Rockwall County has made its mark as a true ray of hope for local children and adults who have suffered abuse and neglect.
Formed in 1999 by the Child Welfare Board in Rockwall, the Rainbow Room provides essential items to improve the quality of life for abused and neglected children and adults in Rockwall County served by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The nonprofit’s emergency resource room located inside the Texas Child Protective Services office at 1131 Yellowjacket Ln. gives CPS caseworkers 24/7 access to items such as diapers, wipes, baby formula, school supplies, toys, blankets and more – all of which are donated by community members.
The Rainbow Room concept was first founded by Laura Bush when she served as the First Lady of Texas, and it proved so successful that it eventually evolved into a nationwide organization.
Before Rainbow Rooms existed, whenever a caseworker would remove a baby from their home and into foster care, she would often have to stop at a store on the way there and dip into her own pocket to buy diapers and other supplies, so that she wouldn’t have to bring the baby into a foster home with absolutely nothing. Thanks to the Rainbow Room, caseworkers can now have a place they can go to get those types of supplies so that kids transitioning into foster care will have all the necessities right from the beginning.
“Providing these material things for the caseworkers is very helpful to them, because then they don’t have to shop around town or approach a bunch of different charities trying to find beds and other essential items for these kids,” said Carol Miskin, president of the Rainbow Room of Rockwall County. “They can just come to us and we take care of it all, and then they can move on from that and take care of the bigger issues that need to be handled for the kids.”
Through its Clothes for Kids program, twice a year before the summer and winter the Rainbow Room also provides a $100 gift card for each child it serves, so that kids can get themselves new clothes for the upcoming season.
“When a child is removed from their home and placed somewhere else, they very often end up in a different school district with different uniform requirements, so we’ll give them a gift card also to help them find new clothes to wear to school,” Miskin added.
Throughout the year, the Rainbow Room works hand in hand with other nonprofits around the community to help bring joy to the kids and families during the holidays. In April, AMICA Rockwall sponsored 139 baskets full of Easter goodies which were distributed by the Rainbow Room to the children they serve. And at Christmas time, the Rainbow Room calls on the community to sponsor a child served by CPS and shop for gifts on that child’s wish list.
“It’s due to the tremendous support from the community that we’re able to do what we do for the children and their families,” Miskin said.
According to Miskin, the number of children served by CPS within Rockwall County has continued to increase each year. Today, CPS conducts investigations involving 120 kids per month in the county.
“These are families that very often are just in a bad place for a minute and they just need a little bit of help. If we can do just a little bit to help the family get through this, to help the child feel that they’re not alone and that maybe someone cares about them, that’s why we do what we do,” Miskin said.
Folks can donate to the Rainbow Room by dropping off the items at the Texas Child Protective Services office located at 1131 Yellowjacket Ln. in Rockwall. For more information about the Rainbow Room and how you can get involved, visit rainbowroom.org.
By Austin Wells. Photo courtesy of the Rainbow Room of Rockwall County.
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