The Children's Shelter

The Children's Shelter

A private, non-profit organization providing twenty-four
hour emergency temporary residential care to:
- Victims of family violence
- Victims of neglect
- Victims of physical abuse
- Victims of sexual abuse

Designed to meet the needs of children by:
- Providing them with an immediate safe environment
- Providing them with a caring environment until a
suitable relative or foster care becomes available

Children at the shelter must be referred by a responsible
party or agency, such as:
- DCFS
- Courts
- Legal parent
- Legal guardian
- Law enforcement

Children at the shelter will receive:
- Food
- Clothing
- Medical needs
- Transportation for educational needs
- Transportation for religious needs

We will:
- Recognize and meet the needs of displaced children
with sensitivity and unconditional respect
- Set the standard for high quality service to children
by performing above the expected
- Strive with our service to be worthy of the trust placed
in us

Donations Can Be Mailed To:
The Children's Shelter
107 Benson Drive
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476

As of December 14, 2011, The Children's Shelter has
served 392 children as their temporary, loving home
between homes!

The Children's Shelter purchased a building located at
107 Benson Drive in Walnut Ridge on April 24, 2008. The
shelter accommodates up to 12 children, birth through
18 years of age who have been displaced from their own
homes through no fault of their own.

The board secured a Provisional Residential License for
temporary & emergency care (up to 45 days) on May 26, 2009
from the Child Welfare Licensing Board.

We utilize volunteers who have passed the same stringent
criteria as our paid staff, to assist with meal preparation
and to provide extra attention for children in distress.
All of our board members and our attorney are volunteers.

If you do not feel that you can donate money but would like
to participate on one of our shelter committees,
please contact:
Tonjia Miles, Administrator
(870) 886-5191

volunteer facebook

About Us

Mission Statement

The Children’s Shelter is a private, nonprofit organization that provides 24-hour emergency, temporary residential care to children who are victims of family violence, neglect, and physical or sexual abuse. It’s designed to meet the needs of these children by providing them with an immediate, safe environment until suitable relative or foster care becomes available.

What We Do at The Shelter

We are a private, nonprofit organization:

  • Provides 24-hour emergency temporary residential care to:
    • Victims of family violence
    • Victims of neglect
    • Victims of physical abuse
    • Victims of sexual abuse
  • Designed to meet the needs of children by:
    • Providing them with an immediate, safe environment
    • Providing them with a caring, stable environment until a suitable relative or foster care becomes available

Children at the Shelter:

  • Must be referred by: Department of Human Services
  • Will receive:
    • Food/Shelter/Clothing
    • Hygune and Medical Needs
    • Transportation for educational, religious & recreational needs
  • Special Attention:
    • Tutoring Program
    • Nutrition Program
    • Drug Awareness Program
    • Effects of Alcohol and Tobacco Program
    • Effects of Bullying
  • Kids Connection Program weekly instruction to:
    • Build self-esteem
    • How to set personal goals
    • Self-discipline

Our History

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
The family was drinking, cursing and shouting out loud.
Dirty clothes and socks were scattered about,
That hadn’t been washed and therefore worn out.

The children were hungry and shivering in bed
While visions of fear raced in their heads.
And momma stoned on meth and Dad higher than a kite,
Had just begun a long nights fight.

And then, with a crash, I heard at the door
Someone came stumbling across the floor.
As I drew the covers over my head
The sounds let me know another night of dread.

Not the usual beloved children’s story, but for some children this is their life.  Hunger, neglect, fear and abuse should never be concerns for any child, but some face these conditions everyday.  We all care about the issue of child neglect and abuse.  But, we hear a lot more about the problem than about the solutions.


The Beginning of a solution-2006
Some community citizens met and discussed the concerns of safe placement for children who have been displaced from their home through no fault of their own.  A board of volunteer directors was formed, by-laws were written and incorporated and non-profit status was received in 2006. The board of directors meets monthly to discuss the finances and other concerns for The Children’s Shelter.

The Children’s Shelter (TCS) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides emergency and temporary care up to 45 days (or 90 days with permission from “State License Officials”) for children from 5 to 12 years who are victims of family violence, neglect, abandonment and physical or sexual abuse.  It is designed to meet the needs of these children by providing them with an immediate safe and caring environment until suitable relative or foster care becomes available. The shelter will recognize and meet the needs of these children with sensitivity and unconditional respect.

The Public Awareness and Fundraising-2007
Committees were formed and volunteers took an active part to raise money starting in the summer of 2006.  Community schools, clubs, churches, businesses and individuals helped raise money and awareness for TCS.

The Start of a Foundation
A pre-owned building was bought by the board members.  The building, located at 107 Benson Drive, is 5500 sq. feet and was previously used as a residential care facility for handicapped adults.  Community volunteers made repairs and painted inside and outside the entire building.  Safety improvements were made, i.e. a security fence was built and placed around the backyard, a security system installed and a bathroom was remodeled to accommodate small children.

TCS consists of 10 bedrooms, 12 twin beds, 4 toddler beds, 1 baby bed and 3 cribs.  The building also has a large family room, a girl’s social room, a boy’s social room, kitchen and dining room, 4 full baths, 2 half baths, a reception room, laundry room, office and a large room that serves as a clothing closet.  Each room was adopted by church groups, school groups, businesses and individuals to provide furniture, bedding, pictures, etc.  All the rooms have colorful themes and offer any age child, boy or girl, a comforting and safe place to stay.

Another requirement was to have transportation in the shelter name and remain on the property when not in use.  A 2002 seven7-passenger van was donated to the shelter and has been licensed and insured.

The Year 2009
Arkansas State License Board requires a full-time administrator with a Bachelor Degree in Social Services with two years of working experience.  TCS board hired a person who prepared polices/procedures, budgets, admission forms, employee and volunteer application and requirements.  She obtained the health, fire and safety, security, electrical and plumbing certified permits for the building.

TCS opened the doors to the first displaced child June 1, 2009.  Some unwise decisions made by board members, administrator and staff members which led to two allegations against the administrator.  The state refused to send children to TCS for 101 days until investigations were resolved. The allegations were proved “untrue” by county and state law enforcements, but at great cost.  The loss of reputation and eventual resignation of the administrator; the loss of public confidence and support in TCS; the loss of some employees who had to have stable jobs and the loss of $17,731.56 in board payments have been challenges, but we have learned from our mistakes and made positive changes to guard against other allegations of any kind.

The Year 2010
TCS has strengthened polices and procedures and placed a video security system in the building and on the grounds.  This was made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Rural Development Commission for Improvements Committee.  The grant also provided funding for storm windows and doors and a new commercial dishwasher.

 A 24-hour paid staff consisting of seven days a week which includes 8 full-time people working eight hour shifts during the week and 4 part-time people working 12-hour shifts Saturday and Sunday to provide care and supervision for the children. 

Volunteers have been trained to help our staff with children. A volunteer can help children with homework, arts & crafts, playtime, preparing or serving food or snacks. Most of our children crave individual attention and volunteers can help fill that need.

College students majoring in Social Services need community hours and we can accommodate them with meals while they assist the children or staff.

All staff, volunteers and interns are required to pass a drug test, child maltreatment central registry checks and Arkansas State Police Record/FBI Criminal Record checks.  All staff and interns will receive in-house training for CPR, first-aid, and aggressive behavior training.

The board members know the cleanness of the facility, the constant supervision and care the staff give the children and how clean, healthy and happy the children appear. The best compliment TCS receives from Department of Children and Family Service and mental caseworkers and attorneys is, “I don’t have to worry about my children if they are here.”

The Future
How do we fund The Children’s Shelter?  TCS receives a board payment from the state which averages $25.00 per child per day.  That board payment is to provide safety, shelter, food, clothes, educate, transport, provide over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene products, entertain, reward a child and pay employee salaries. 

Most non-profits are struggling and some are failing. TCS cannot fail!  Our displaced children have been neglected, abused and sometimes abandoned by their caregivers and we cannot fail them!  They are our future and they have legal rights for food, shelter, medical and educational needs.  TCS will probably always be in need of donations, and never make a profit, but with your help, think of the safety and care we can give these children. 

Our facility depends on corporate and/or individual donations which are 100% tax-deductible and fundraisers.  TCS also accepts monetary gifts for honor or memorial of a loved one.  As the current year ends you may be searching for charities for donations, please consider The Children’s Shelter as your recipient.  Your gift will benefit displaced children from any county in Arkansas.

The Children’s Shelter, incorporated April 17, 2006, is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization.  Donations can be sent directly to: The Children’s Shelter Fund Account, First National Bank, P.O. Box 509, Walnut Ridge, AR  72476 or The Children’s Shelter, 107 Benson Drive, Walnut Ridge, AR  72476.

Thank you for your consideration and God Bless You,
--Judy Turnbull

Board Members

Elected July 24, 2006

Mrs. Judy Turnbull, President
Home: 870-886-6796 Cell: 870-809-1569
Email: jturnbull@suddenlink.net

Mr. John Allen, vice President
Cell: 870-351-7756
Email: johnallen@bscn.com

Mr. Ernest Briner, Secretary
Cell: 870-759-1193
Email: jbriner@lawrencehealth.net

Mr. Milton B. Smith, Treasurer
Bus: 870-886-5959
Email: msmith@fnblawco.com

Ms. Suzanne Allen
Bus: 870-886-2401
Email: Suzanne.allen@hoxie.nesc.k12.ar.us

Mrs. Fran Cavenaugh
Cell: 870-886-4007
Email: fran@cavautogroup.com

Mrs. Judy Clark
Cell: 870-759-2201
Email: j.clark9545@yahoo.com

Mr. Jim Jansen
Bus: 870-886-5493
Email: jjansen@bradcorp.org

Mrs. Amy Pickens
Bus: 310-927-2668
Email: amygpickens@gmail.com

Mr. Ken Ziegler
Cell: 870-897-0424
Email: janken@suddenlink.net

Mr. Harry Truman Moore, Pro-Bono Attorney
Bus: 870-239-2225
Email: htm@goodwinmoore.com

Donation/ Needs List

Children who come to the shelter have been displaced from their home through no fault of their own.  They are sometimes scared and have no personal items with them.  With the generous help from individuals, businesses, schools, churches, civic groups and clubs each child will receive a hygiene box with products that will give them dignity and provide them with essential personal needs.  Their name will be written on the box and becomes their property to use and keep when they leave the shelter.

Current Shortage & Continual Needs List

  • 100% real Fruit Juice
  • Can fruits
  • Groceries of all types and kinds
  • Money for perishable items                
  • Paper Towels
  • PJ's boys & girls Size 5-12
  • Tall kitchen trash bags
  • 33 gal trash bags
  • Dish Soap
  • Baby Wipes
  • Napkins
  • Air Freshener/Lysol
  • A/C Filters {20x24x1}
  • Travel Soap Boxes
  • Magic Erasers
  • Pine Sol
  • Odor Ban
  • Bleach
  • Dryer Sheet, Fabric Softener
  • Hair Brushes

Boys and Girls Hygiene Boxes

Sterilite Flip Top Box (shoebox size, must be clear color)

Dental Care
Toothbrush (child and adult size, soft bristles)
Toothbrush Holder (to keep toothbrush sanitary and dry)
Toothpaste (anticavity, personal/travel size)
Dental Floss (travel size)
Mouthwash (travel size)

Hair Care
Hairbrush (child and adult size for short or long hair)
Comb (child and adult size for wet or dry hair)
Shampoo (travel size)
Gel or Mouse (travel size)
Hair Clips, Ponytail Holders, Barrettes

Body Care
Bar soap (in package or box) or Body Wash (travel size)
Plastic Soap Box (any color)
Deodorant (travel size, boys and girls)
Body Powder (travel size, boys and girls)
Body Lotion (travel size)
Cotton Swabs (travel size)
Wet Wipes (travel size)
Nail Clipper and Emery board

Miscellaneous
Kleenex (pocket size)
Flashlight (small, packaged with battery)
Sanitary Panty liners or Tampons
ChapStick or Lip Gloss

Baby and Toddler Hygiene Care Boxes

Sterilite Flip Top Box (shoebox size, any color)

Dental Care
Toothbrush (child size, soft bristles)
Toothbrush Holder (to keep toothbrush sanitary and dry)
Toothpaste (anticavity, personal/travel size)
Dental Floss (child, travel size)
Teething Ring or Gel

Hair Care
Hairbrush (child size)
Comb (child size)
Baby Shampoo (travel size)
Hair Clips, Ponytail Holders, Barrettes

Body Care
Baby Wash (travel size)
Baby Powder (travel size)
Baby Lotion (travel size)
Baby Oil (travel size)
Cotton Swabs (travel size)

Miscellaneous
Bibs
Pacifier
Baby Feeding Spoon
Sipper Cup or Bottle
Baby Wipes (travel size) 
Diapers or Pull-ups (any size from newborn to toddler)

Do You Love Children? Volunteers

The Children’s Shelter, located at 107 Benson Drive in Walnut Ridge, NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Would you spare some time (minutes or hours) a day (any day) to present children with your attention?

The Children’s Shelter, located at 107 Benson Drive in Walnut Ridge is a temporary placement for 12 children who have been displaced from their home through no fault of their own.

These children can be as young as birth to 14 years old.  Most of the children are from 5 to 12 years old.  All these children need some special attention.  You can help by FIRST filling out a Volunteer application which shall include

  1. Must be at least 19 years old.
  2. Three positive personal references.
  3. Arkansas Criminal Record Check and Child Maltreatment Central Registry Check information as required by law.
    1. The application must be notarized for signature of the Arkansas State Criminal and Child Maltreatment Central Registry background checks.
    2. A fee of $11.00 is required for the background checks.  Make check payable to “The Children’s Shelter”.
  4. Upon completing this application, you will need to attend one Volunteer Information Session which all sessions are held at the shelter.  During the information session you will learn about the agency, volunteer opportunities and will be trained to work with the children who reside in the shelter.
  5. No application will be considered without the above requirements.

For information about volunteer applications, please call The Children’s Shelter at 870-886-5191to inquire answers for any questions you may have.

Shelter Update

We opened our doors to our first guest on June the 1st of 2009. As the 5th of January, 2012,
we had served 400 children from 25 different counties in the state of Arkansas:


  7 children from Baxter

  3 from Boone

  6 from Carroll

  9 from Clay

100 from Craighead

  4 from Crittenden

  2 from Cross

  1 from Faulkner

  2 from Fulton

  3 from Garland

57 from Greene

  5 from Independence

15 from Izard

10 from Jackson

  1 from Jefferson

68 from Lawrence

5 from Marion

  1 from Miller

12 from Mississippi

19 from Poinsett

42 from Randolph

  8 from Sebastian

17 from Sharp

  1 from White

  2 from Woodruff

Summer Party

Friday, August 9, 2013
6:00 in the evening
The Venue
117 West Main
Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Benefiting the Children's Shelter. Join us for food, music and auction.
Please help us help the children. Any donation you can give will make a difference in a child's life.

Beans, Cornbread and Bluegrass Music

  • What: Fundraiser to benefit The Children’s Shelter (TCS) consisting of:
    • Food: white beans, brown beans, cornbread, fried potatoes, baked ham and home-made desserts
    • Drinks: sweet tea, unsweeted tea, coffee and water
    • Music: Bluegrass Murphy Boys

  • Where: The M.A.C. (Mission Activities Center) located behind the First Baptist Church Business Office at the corner of SW 2nd and W Pine Streets in Walnut Ridge.

  • When: Saturday, March 31st, 2012

  • Time: Beans and Cornbread dinner will be starting at 5:00pm until 6:30pm.
    Bluegrass music will begin between 6:30-7:00 ending at 8:30pm.

  • Tickets:  
    $10.00 per adult, $5.00 per child 10 years and younger
    Tickets can be purchased at the door or
    Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling
    TCS at 870-886-5191 or
    Judy Turnbull at 870-886-6796

  • Take-Out:  Take-out orders will be available for $10.00 minus drinks.

  • Why:   The Children’s Shelter (TCS) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides a 24-hour emergency/temporary residential care to children who are victims of family violence, neglect, and physical or sexual abuse.  It is designed to meet the needs of these children by providing them with a safe environment until suitable relative or foster care becomes available. 

TCS is governed by a board of nine volunteer directors and employs 8 full-time and 4 part-time qualified people to care for a maximum of 12 children displaced children ages 5 to 12 years old 24 hours daily.  TCS is sponsored mostly through donations, fundraisers and a state board payment of $25.00 per child per night.

TCS, located at 107 Benson Drive in Walnut Ridge, is state licensed and opened June 1, 2009.  For more information, please call The Children’s Shelter at 870-886-5191.

Smoked Pork Butts

  • What:  Fundraiser to benefit The Children’s Shelter (TCS) consisting of Smoked Pork Butts

  • Who:   
    • Dan Ellison, CommitteeChairman
    • Perry and Peggy Manus, Co-Chairs
    • The Hoxie and Walnut Ridge Fire Departments
    • The Hoxie and Walnut Ridge Police Departments
    • The Lawrence County Sheriff Department

  • Where: The Hoxie Fire Department
    The Walnut Ridge Fire Department
    Parking lot of Latham’s Grocery in Portia

  • When: May 25 and 26 

  • Price:  $25.00 each or t o or more $20.00 each

  • To Place Orders, Please call:                 
    • The Hoxie Fire Department – 886-5722
    • The WR Fire Department – 886-6631
    • The Hoxie Police Department – 886-7701
    • The WR Police Department – 886-3568
    • The Lawrence County Sheriff Department – 886-2525

  • Why:   The Children’s Shelter (TCS) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides a 24-hour emergency/temporary residential care to children who are victims of family violence, neglect, and physical or sexual abuse.  It is designed to meet the needs of these children by providing them with a safe environment until suitable relative or foster care becomes available. 

TCS is governed by a board of nine volunteer directors and employs 8 full-time and 4 part-time qualified people to care for a maximum of 12 children displaced children ages 5 to 12 years old 24 hours a daily.  TCS is sponsored mostly through donations, fundraisers and a state board payment of $25.00 per child per night.

TCS, located at 107 Benson Drive in Walnut Ridge, is state licensed and has been open since June 1, 2009.  For more information, please call The Children’s Shelter at 870-886-5191.

The Children's Shelter

107 Benson Drive
Walnut Ridge, Arkansas 72476
Phone: (870) 886-5191
Fax: (870) 886-5353
Email: ChildrenShelter@yahoo.com

Tonjia Miles, Administrator
Kathy Wells,
Administrative Assistant


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The Children's Shelter © 2012.
107 Benson Drive | Walnut Ridge, Arkansas 72476