Jake* is 8, and he just finished the 3rd grade.
We'd show you a picture of his face, but we can't -- for his own safety and the safety of his family. They came to the shelter at SafePlace right before spring break and have been here ever since.
So Jake isn't waking up in his own bed anymore. Instead, his family is sleeping all together in one room, and making their meals in a kitchen they share with four other families. When his family came to the shelter, he had to leave everything behind - his friends, his bike, his toys, his house, his neighborhood.
The good news is that his family is safe, and they've begun a journey toward a life at home that will be safer and happier for everyone. And Jake is spending his summer with our specialized children's staff, trained in ways to serve the complex social and emotional needs of kids recovering from trauma.
But that's pretty hard for an 8-year-old to understand.
Jake has had a rough year, and we think that he and the other kids who are living on our campus deserve to have a great summer. They deserve some time to forget about where they're living for a while and just be kids. They deserve to stop for snow cones, to jump into icy water, to enjoy a loud movie in an overly-air-conditioned theater. So many kids on our campus have never experienced these simple summer pleasures before. Now, more than ever, they deserve to have a summer that helps them connect, grow, and heal.
Can you help make that happen? SafePlace's budget covers our trained staff, therapeutic and academic enrichment activities, transportation, food, and supplies. We need your help to cover the other costs of summer - pool entrance fees, movie tickets, treats and snacks - that help make great memories for kids.
Right now, thanks to a generous matching fund from SafePlace Development Council member Tricia Teegardin Edwards, every gift to support summer at SafePlace will be doubled, up to $5,000. So you can treat twice as many kids like Jake to ice cream or a day at the pool!
$50 pays for snow cones for 15 kids.
$100 pays for a day at Barton Springs for 20 kids.
$250 buys swimsuits and sunscreen for 10 kids.
$500 rents kayaks and buys snacks for 30 kids.
We'll also gratefully accept gift cards! Please email Steven Olender if you would like to make a donation of gift cards for ice cream, activities, swimsuits, clothing or supplies.
Jake and the other kids on our campus have been through a lot in their young lives.Please help give them a summer just to be kids.