Some arrive with nothing. Some come from homes where family members abused drugs.
These are the children served by the Rainbow Room, an emergency resource center for Child Protective Services caseworkers.
Rainbow Rooms, which operate under the nonprofit Giving Texas Children Promise, helps meet the needs of abused and neglected children.
“In 1989 we had no resources and opened up the first one in Dallas,” said Brenda Jones, a Family and Protective Services coordinator for the region. There are now more than 27 in one region.
The facility, which was established at the local Child Protective Services offices, services all of Coryell County.
Volunteers from the Coryell County Child Welfare Board, and community organizations and churches, operate the Rainbow Room.
One of those volunteers, Gloria Schmitz, Copperas Cove Rainbow Room area coordinator, works to ensure items are available for children. Rainbow Rooms are stocked with clothing, shoes, underwear, baby formula, school supplies and hygiene items for children entering foster or relative care and children in their own homes who live below the poverty line.
“Being able to help children in need” is the most rewarding aspect of working with the emergency resource center, Schmitz said.
Many young children are provided with comforting items at the facility, including teddy bears, she said.
“I think about my grandchildren and how scared they would be,” Schmitz said, adding that many of the children often are rescued from “scary situations.”
Eight volunteers staff Cove’s Rainbow Room. Jones said these volunteers are indispensable to the success of the organization.
While Rainbow Rooms across the state sometimes get grants, those funds are primarily used for much-needed items such as clothing. Jones said the Rainbow Room constantly needs donations of money and supplies.