By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

Christmas gifts and charities seem to be everyone’s focus this time of year, but a company at Fort Hood is intent on providing assistance to the needs of abused and neglected children in the area.

The Coryell County Rainbow Room board of directors was presented a $1,000 check by Chuck Smith from Calibre’s ILAP Cell, based out of Alexandria, Va., at Fort Hood on Dec. 11.

Smith said other charities and organizations are getting help around this time. Calibre decided to help the Rainbow Room.

The Coryell County Rainbow Room’s Chair Gloria Schmitz said the room serves at least 80 children a month with as many as 525 items, which include diapers, shampoo, lotion, blankets, toys and three to four sets of clothing.

“One hundred percent of the donation will go to new items. We meet the critical needs of abused and neglected children. We carry everything. It helps make a child’s life better. They’re picked up in the middle of the night sometimes with just the clothes on their backs, and caseworkers don’t have the resources provide the things they may need,” Schmitz said.

The Rainbow Room is a 24-hour, non-profit resource center that is available to Child Protective Service caseworkers and run solely on volunteers.

Rainbow Rooms are designed as an emergency resource center to provide the most basic needs of abused and neglected children. There are more than 120 Rainbow Rooms, divided into 11 regions in the state of Texas. The Coryell County Rainbow Room is served by the state’s region 7.

Each Rainbow Room is stocked with new items, providing clothes, shoes, formula, school supplies, safety gates, cribs, car seats and hygiene items to children entering foster or relative care and children whose families live below the poverty line.

According to Schmitz, in 2007 there are more than 240,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, approximately 16,000 children were removed from their homes, more than 71,000 confirmed victims of abuse, approximately 223 children died as a result of abuse, more than 33,000 living in foster care and more than 4,000 were placed for adoption statewide.

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