FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Ball Toyota Family of Dealerships including Ball Toyota Charleston, L&S Toyota of Beckley and Advantage Toyota of Barboursville announced a partnership with “Handle With Care” and United Ways of West Virginia.
With this partnership, The Ball Toyota Family of Dealerships is donating over $200,000 to establish pantries in United Way offices that will provide food, clothing and toiletries for all children and young adults in all 55 counties. Shawn Ball, President of Ball Toyota, felt that children have never been more vulnerable than they are during this time of pandemic and he wanted to do something more.
Brett White, Executive Director of The United Way of Marion and Taylor County, said this type of donation and service is essential right now during COVID-19. White said with children returning to school in various different ways, there is so much uncertainty and a service such as this one can help provide extra resources to ease some of the stress.
“It’s even more crucial right now. As we prepare for school coming back into session, in whatever fashion that means, I think that puts a lot of extra stress on children right now. That’s one of our main key focuses,” said White. “We focus on education for children, and so we want to make sure children have the best opportunities to succeed in life, and in education. This is another part of that program, being able to provide these resources to this program and to law enforcement officers in our area.”
Handle With Care will be a program which facilitates a network of coordinators who work hand in hand with law enforcement and West Virginia public schools. If a law enforcement officer encounters a child during a call, that child’s name is forwarded to the school and delivered to the child’s teacher before the school bell rings the next day.
As far as the school is involved, it will implement individual, class and whole school trauma-sensitive curricula so that traumatized children are “Handled With Care.” If a child needs more intervention, on-site trauma-focused mental healthcare is available at the school.
“We will provide anything from food, to counseling, to a blanket in the winter, anything a child needs we are here to give it to them. This donation of $200,000 will allow us to go get a number of resources so that every child is cared for, and no one feels like we don’t have some sort of resources for them,” White said.
For more information, contact your local United Ways office, or read about it here.