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The Care For Kids Journal is a project of the Silver Dollar City Foundation and Branson’s Hometown Radio. Through interviews with school administrators, Care For Kids coordinators and volunteers, the Care For Kids Journal tells the stories of how Care For Kids meets the needs of area kids. Click on the “Download MP3” links below to listen.

Shelly Fransen

Shell Knob Superintendent

“I see some of the students affected now paying it forward to others…”

Pam Hazell

Branson’s Cedar Ridge Elementary Counselor

“To have pain to deal with…it’s just so hard for a little six-year-old boy.”

Mike Fransen

Blue Eye Elementary Principal

“The behaviors that he was exhibiting were based on the fact that he couldn’t see…”

Danny Humble

Galena Superintendent

“We had a family – with elementary age students – and their house burned down…The little girls involved, they lost all their toys too…”

Grant Boyer

Superintendent, Taneyville Schools

“We had a family…both mom and dad lost their jobs on the same day, and the student had braces and needed orthodontic work… Through Care For Kids, we were able to provide this family the payment to get caught back up…”

Pam Davis

Assistant Superintendent
Hollister School

“One of the students was wearing a coat, all dirty and torn…and she said, ‘Well I have to wear it at home, because we don’t have any heat and we haven’t for a long time…”

Rhonda Davis and Stephanie Smith

Counselors, Reeds Spring Elementary & Primary Schools

“It was just so touching to see him turn around and smile and say, these are NEW clothes, Mrs. Davis…”

Daryl Bernskoetter

Spokane Superintendent

“We have a lot of students with a lot of needs… things we can help with so that student can come to school and not worry about what he’s going to eat tonight…”

Bob Abbott

Volunteer Mentor, Branson Elementary

“He said, ‘I love you Mr. Bob,’ and I thought something is significant about our relationship…”

Linda Jensen

Crane Elementary Counselor

“It was such a joy to see them put those glasses on for the first time and to be able to read”

Leanne West

Kirbyville School Counselor

“Care For Kids funds have allowed me to say, ‘I’m sorry’let me help.'”

Judy Horner, Liz Turner, Bethany Stumbaugh

Forsyth Counselors

We had two families who lost their homes to a fire…so we went and bought them all kinds of things…

Kathy Osenga

Volunteer Mentor, Branson Elementary

Mentoring a child shows children they have value so they know someone is in their corner…

Joanna Coffey

“It has given me purpose. We’re talking eternal purpose here, we’re talking changing a child’s life.”

Tricia Pearson

Crane Elementary Principal

“We had a first grade boy who had four abscessed teeth… Because of Care For Kids funds, we were able to get him the help he needed.”

Jared Kolter

Director, Stone County K-Life

“One of the things that I think is a key to an effective relationship with a teen is earning the right to be heard…”

Ken Ortman

LUC Boys Ranch Director

“We try to develop a sense of humility, of accountability and responsibility, and so when they leave, they’re ready to help others…”

Tim Crawley

Taneyville Superintendent

“One of the students was wearing a coat, all dirty and torn…and she said, ‘Well I have to wear it at home, because we don’t have any heat and we haven’t for a long time…”

Chris Hunter

Family Mentor, Branson Elementary

“I pray ‘God, don’t let me waste my life.’ And this is a door of opportunity that He’s given me to make my life count for something…”

Mike Fransen

Blue Eye Elementary Principal

“The impact on that child’s life is unbelievable, and that happens every day with Care For Kids…”

Katie Howard

Hurley School Counselor

“The backpack program allows us to send 24 backpacks home each Friday to students who may go hungry that weekend…”

Danny Hartwell

Pastor, Hollister First Baptist Church

“Our people are like surrogate grandparents…they really feel they’re being a help…”

Pam Hazell

Branson Elementary Counselor

“The lunch buddy saw a great transition from her being sad to being full of self-esteem, so that’s a total transformation…”

Brent DepeƩ

Spokane School Superintendent

“Our school has become a lot more in tune and sensitive to the needs of our students and our families…”

John Baltes

Silver Dollar City Foundation President

“Care For Kids is about demonstrating the love of Christ, showing we care in practical ways…”

Dawn Funderburk

Branson Volunteer Mentor

“I can listen and I can make them feel special and I can love them for 20 minutes a week…”

Deann Short

Spokane High School Counselor

“We’ve helped kids with things as simple as being able to pay for a workshop they couldn’t attend .. .”

Craig Carson

Hollister Assistant Superintendent

“In our area of Taney County, the need is definitely there …”

Laurie Strickland

Shell Knob School Volunteer Coordinator

“The role modeling that comes from these mentors is crucial.”

Marcia Dial

Reeds Spring Care For Kids Coordinator

“One of our bus drivers picked up three little girls standing in extreme cold.. who had no coats..we sent them home that evening with new coats…”

Leanne West

Kirbyville School Counselor

“That $150 literally saved this little boy’s life…”

Michelle Collins

Forsyth Elementary Principal

“The goal is one-on-one quality time…”