The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 12, 2012

Mike Pound: Donation helps Children’s Haven with mission

The little girl with the dark curly hair looked up from her coloring book when I walked into the room, and greeted me with a loud “Hi!” and a big smile.

I liked both the “Hi” and the smile.

The young boy sitting next to the little girl didn’t say anything. He was too busy concentrating on a coloring project of his own to stop and chat.

I didn’t know what was going on in the lives of that little girl or that young boy that brought them to Children’s Haven, and really, I didn’t want to know. What I wanted to know was if the kids were safe and if they were happy. The fact that they were at Children’s Haven told me they were safe. As for happy, all I could do was go by what I saw, and what I saw was two happy kids.

Children’s Haven of Southwest Missouri is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides a safe, temporary home for kids, from birth through the age of 17, whose families are going through some sort of crisis. The sorts of things that bring a child to Children’s Haven include homelessness, unsafe living conditions, and lack of utilities or food. Sometimes the crisis could be a medical one, with parents temporarily unable to care for their children or with parents seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Stephanie Theis is the executive director of Children’s Haven. She said the organization serves about 450 children a year. The average stay for a child is seven nights, but some children may stay only one night and others may stay 30 nights. There is no minimum or maximum.

While a child is staying at Children’s Haven, the goal is bringing a certain amount of stability to the child’s life. That means getting a school-age child to and from school. That means getting that child to normal extracurricular activities. That may mean getting a child to soccer practice or a dance recital.

“We want them to have that eight hours of stability,” Stephanie said.

To do that, Children’s Haven needs reliable transportation, and on Wednesday morning, the nice folks at Empire District Electric Co. handed Stephanie the keys to a nearly new van.

Brent Baker is the director of customer service for Empire. He said reaching out to community organizations such as Children’s Haven is something that Empire and its employees have done for decades.

“We’re excited that our people volunteer their time and support local agencies that do such great work,” he said.

The idea to donate the van came from David Russell, who handles transportation issues for Empire. David’s first contact with Children’s Haven came when he and a group of other Empire employees volunteered there during the annual United Way Day of Caring.

David was so impressed with the work done on behalf of children that when the van became available, he immediately thought of Children’s Haven.

In May, Children’s Haven hopes to move into a new building currently under construction on the lot next to the current home. Stephanie said the new building will double Children’s Haven’s capacity, which makes Empire’s gift even more important

“We will definitely need more transportation,” she said. “I’m in awe (of the unexpected donation), and I’m very excited.”

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter