Choose Networks believes that giving back to the local community is important and started the annual Choose Network’s Nonprofit Award in 2016. This year’s Choose Networks Nonprofit Award recipient is Sunlight Children’s Advocacy and Rights Foundation (SCARF). “We are grateful to SCARF for their commitment to providing a safe haven for abused and neglected children and feel privileged to be a partner,” says Chris Hoose, President of Choose Networks.
Having a solid IT infrastructure is important in any business, but when you are dealing with the lives of the most vulnerable children in our state, that importance gets taken up to a much higher priority. Each day children go to SCARF as they seek solace and safety from a world of abuse and neglect. Children go to SCARF scared, confused and without a voice. SCARF offers these children a time to process and gives them an opportunity to be heard, to tell their story.
According to Dusty Buell, CEO of SCARF, “This partnership ensures that not only do we have what we need from an IT perspective, but we have a team of professionals that truly care about us as clients, and they also care about the children we are serving. When Choose Networks joined our team, they made a commitment to these children, and they want to be true partners in a very complex system. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity provided by Choose Networks, this partnership is a game changer.”
As the 2019 Recipient of the Choose Networks Nonprofit Award, SCARF will receive free managed IT services for the foreseeable future. Each year Choose Networks selects a local non-profit that makes a difference in our community. Past winners have included Wichita Open, Wichita WIN and Raise My Head Foundation.
About Choose Networks
Choose Networks is locally owned and our team is committed to securing the most innovative and value-generating IT solutions for businesses of all sizes across Kansas. We put a premium on understanding your company’s vision, so that we can combine that information with our industry experience and determine how best assist you to reach your goals. As a Sentinel Services customer with Choose Networks - our business services can save you from downtime, cut expenses, and make IT a competitive advantage.
About Sunlight Child Advocacy Center
Located in El Dorado, the advocacy center (CAC) provides a multi-disciplinary team response when abuse or neglect is suspected. Working with community partners such as law enforcement, child protection services, mental health, and hospital staff, CAC provides a safe environment for the child and non-offending family throughout the investigation process, as well as support after leaving the facility. The CAC focuses on the best interests of the child, helping families navigate a process that can be confusing and traumatic. Community training is also offered for information about child abuse and prevention.
About Sunlight Children’s Home
Sunshine Children’s Home, located in Andover, provides emergency shelter services to children who have been taken into temporary protective custody. “SCH is a temporary placement designed to allow sibling groups to remain together in a comfortable, home-like atmosphere until healthy reintegration or long-term placement can be made,” says Susan Uhlik, Residential Manager of SCH. Since opening in 2014, SCH has served over 2,000 Kansas children, ranging in age from newborns to teenagers. Uhlik described the great need for a home like SCH by stating, “We have the ability to work with children who have experienced extreme neglect and often visiting our home is the first time some of these children have eaten with utensils, slept in a real bed, had their hair combed, or celebrated a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. We accept children from across the state and from the most extreme situations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our doors are always open.”
How You Can Help
I asked this question of Dusty Buell, CEO of Sunlight Children’s Advocacy and Rights Foundation. He stated, “The best thing you can do is to report any suspected child abuse, to be a hero to a child that you may not know, but needs you. As a community, we need to open our hearts and minds to children that may just need someone to care. Someone to listen. Someone that won’t judge them. Someone that will help them change their situation. It doesn’t matter who you are, that someone could be YOU!” Buell explained that SCARF can always benefit from monetary and in-kind donations. Items such as hygiene kits for boys and girls, canned fruits and vegetables, ground beef, deer or chicken are welcomed. SCARF serves children of all ages so baby items, toys, craft kits, makeup, nail polish, hand held games or decks of cards are often needed; please email a contact at SCARF for a complete list of current needs. Volunteers working directly with children must be at least 21 years old and undergo a training process (opportunities for volunteers 16 and older may include gardening and service-oriented projects).
As CEO Dusty Buell said, “Every child has a story, and every child matters. We are here to help them begin the process of starting that next chapter to their story, and what we want more than anything is for them to be able to see the potential for a happy ending, even in their darkest times.”