Low Profile Volunteers Work For Children


‘Amy' was not quite 2 years old when Child Protective Services removed her from her parents.

Settling into her foster home, she wanted a tricycle.

"All little kids need tricycles, don't they?" Pat Johnson said.

Johnson is part of a small 501(c)3 group with a big heart -- Rim Country Arizonans for Children.

"My neighbor was the director of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program a few years ago. She told me that the state does not have money to provide the neat things CASA kids need," Johnson said.

So, Johnson, even though she has no children of her own, decided to get involved.

She, Blaine Kimball, Meg Turlukis and Stephanie Keeney decided to provide those CASA youths some fun things as well as necessities.

Then, since every foster child does not have a CASA, the four decided it would also be appropriate to take CPS requests on the behalf of youths.

"The phone could ring and a CPS worker say, ‘we had to remove a child from a home that was so contaminated with crystal meth that the child had to leave all their clothes and toys behind,'" Johnson said.

Individually, these heartbreaking situations are made a little less so by the RCAC.

Emergency clothing is not an unusual thing for RCAC to give to a child.

The organization has also provided karate lessons for a couple of youths, sent a child who wished to go to winter Bible camp, purchased the study book and calculator for an older youth, then paid for him to take his GED test.

"We are fortunate to be annual recipients from the Soroptimist Radio-thon and have done well through contributions," Johnson said.

If the day comes RCAC needs an infusion of cash, that will be the time they host a fund-raiser.

Rim Country Arizonans for Children

Founded: 2002

Purpose: Founded to help children in foster care who were removed from their parents through no fault of their own.

How to join or donate: Contact Pat Johnson, treasurer at (928) 474-5214.

Contributions to community: Helps children who do not qualify for other programs have a higher quality of life.

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