Care For Kids, a Silver Dollar City Foundation program, is ramping up fundraising awareness and efforts with the beginning of school just around the corner.

“This past year, we provided some funds to have [14] new people trained as in-home parent educators,” John Baltes, President of the Silver Dollar City Foundation, said. 

According to Baltes, this is a new program for Care For Kids, and the foundation looks forward to focusing on this program and its other programs this coming school year. Baltes said that, while the program does not determine how the dollars are spent, they ask the schools to focus the funding on areas their budgets are not able to reach, specifically physical needs areas.

Last year, the program was able to provide funding for providing children with clothes, coats, and shoes, school supplies, food and mentors for reading and lunch programs, according to a press release from Silver Dollar City. 

“There are 320 different individuals throughout Stone and Taney counties,” Baltes said. “We partner with about 30 churches, and they provide those volunteers in those school districts.”

Some of the programs Care For Kids has provided funding for include Lunch Buddies and Book Buddies, which focus on improving education of children in the area, the press release said. 

“We are going into our 14th year with Care For Kids, and [we] are just grateful the school have embraced allowing these volunteers from the area churches, over 300 of them, to be able to come up alongside these little kids, one-on-one,” Baltes said. “You can just imagine how important this is to some of these children to have that kind of attention. 

“So we’re just grateful, I am personally grateful, for the school to be so open and encouraging in this regard because I know the kids are benefiting from that.”

According to the press release, the Care For Kids program has, to date, provided these services to 45,000 children in Taney and Stone counties. 

This is due to the nearly $1.65 million that has been donated to the foundation in the past 13 years.

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