Donation drive honors memory of lost child
By Haley Schichtl
Each February, Kayleen Powell of Green Forest raises money to help children in memory of her son Evan, who passed away at the age of 6 in 2016.
This year, Powell has set up locations around Carroll County to drop off items to be donated to The CALL, an organization that serves and trains local foster and adoptive homes in Arkansas.
Powell said the community opened a donation account at Anstaff Bank after Evan’s passing, which is now used for donations through the rest of the year.
“The funds go toward college scholarships and educational supplies,” Powell said. “Some people in the community make cash donations throughout the year. The Arkansas Master Predators organize a predator hunt every year, and the funds from that are also donated into the account.”
She said participants in the predator hunt are charged an entry fee to be in the competition for killing the biggest coyote.
Powell has donated to hospitals every February, the month Evan passed, but decided to organize a drive for The CALL this year.
“We plan to do this each year to assist The CALL,” she said. “The CALL is doing an amazing job fighting for these kids. We as a community need to step up and help them with their vision.”
JoBeth Evans, representative and advisory board member from The CALL, said she has been collaborating with Powell to get the word out about The CALL.
The CALL is a statewide organization, but the section serving Northwest Arkansas is based in Lowell. Evans said she promotes the organization for Carroll and Madison counties, recruiting and making sure the families have what they need.
Donations are stored at the Free Store in Berryville.
“We work alongside DHS to recruit and train foster parents,” Evans said. “We have a partnership with them, where we just help make that process easier for families.”
Evans said Carroll County is in need of more foster homes.
There are 14 foster homes and 57 children in care in the county, Evans said, and The CALL has served and trained over 600 homes in northwest Arkansas.
“These donations are very very important and very meaningful to the families and kids. We are in a huge need for foster parents, and this drive is bringing publicity and awareness to The CALL,” Evans said.
The CALL needs items like diapers, wipes, pajamas, hygiene items, socks, underwear, throw blankets and stuffed animals. They ask that donations are only new rather than used items for sanitary reasons.
Items can be dropped off at one of these locations: Berryville and Green Forest school campuses, Powell Feed in Green Forest, Powell Feed & Fuel in Berryville, Powell’s Ace Hardware in Berryville, Powell Feed in Harrison, First United Methodist Church in Harrison, The CALL-Boone County in Harrison, or The CALL-Benton County in Lowell.
To make a monetary donation, go to Anstaff Bank, mail money to Evan Owens Memorial P.O. Box 1900, Green Forest, AR 72638 or visit TheCallInArkansas.org.
For more information about drop locations, call 870-438-6904 or The CALL at 501-907-1048.