Students help remake room

Kari Twombly

Some organizations do extend beyond Missouri Southern.

On Saturday, the Child Abuse Coalition will be doing a room makeover at the Children’s Haven in Joplin. The project is one of several such projects done by the organization along side its Missouri Southern counterpart.

“The MSSU Student Coalition Against Child Abuse (SCACA) is a great organization that has a selfless based goal,” said Robert Robin, junior criminal justice major and vice president of SCACA. “Our goal is not to help ourselves, but to help spread the word about child abuse prevention and awareness. We are not a club that just has meetings, fun and parties. We are an organization that is alive and trying to change the world.”

He said the coalition tries to do more with the community throughout the year.

“We help play games with children at Cowboys for Kids – a group that sponsors a silent auction and a fun night for friends and family,” Robin said. “We do children fingerprinting and pictures for parents in case they ever need their child’s information, it is all there on one paper. We also hold a silent auction for funds every year and donate most of the money raised to charities helping children. I would say that if you want to be a part of something that helps others and is constantly moving than you should join the Students Coalition Against Child Abuse.”

This organization is open to the entire campus, but is mostly made up of criminal justice, sociology and psychology majors.

“This is my first year in the coalition and I am very impressed with the work that they do,” said LaDawn Hathaway, senior psychology major and SCACA treasurer. “It is an organization that focuses on children in the area that are abused, neglected, or in need of assistance in some way or another. Everyone is really focused on giving some of his or her time to enrich the life of a child.”

The Children’s Haven is a place for children who need a place to stay. It can hold a maximum of 12 kids. It takes anyone from infants to 17-year-olds. It is a placement for children who need immediate shelter.

“It is a private organization completely reliant on grants and private donations,” said JJ Spurling, assistant professor of criminal justice. “We are getting ready to makeover one big bedroom that can hold three young children or toddlers.”

The need for such a shelter is subject to several things.

“If the parents of a child were to be in a bad car wreck, there’s a family emergency or there is abuse in the home, the children have a place to stay at the Children’s Haven,” said Greg Dagnan, assistant professor of criminal justice. “It is a lot better than the old way, which was just sending them into foster care. Then the parents would have to go through the court system to get them back.”

The coalition will be renovating the last room at the Children’s Haven. The workers are doing a celestial theme, with natural earth tones for either boys or girls. They have incorporated stars, planets, the sky and clouds.

“We also have glow in the dark stars and moons that we will be attaching to the walls for decoration,” Hathaway said.

The makeover is not limited to the room itself though.

“Members of SCACA and I have already made the blanket, window balances, lamps and etc,” Robin said. “So once we get there we will have to paint, install mini blinds, curtain rods and etc.”

The students have already started working out the details of the project, but some may not see the work until after it is complete.

“I have helped with purchasing and planning of the room,” Hathaway said. “I won’t actually be able to help do the redecorating due to a prior engagement on the date of the makeover and am very disappointed that I won’t be there to watch the room come together.”

However, there are still several who will be there to lend a hand.

“A lot of people have given up their Saturdays, because we are always doing something with this organization,” Spurling said. “I hope it continues to grow. I am very proud of them.”