Donations benefit MCSO’s Child Safety Initiative

When McDonald County Sheriff Rob Evenson looks at a pile of checks that will help fund a child safety initiative, he’s amazed — but not surprised — at the county’s support.

“I’m amazed at the support for this and law enforcement,” he said. McDonald County neighbors “really step in” when the cause centers on helping children.

The checks are the direct result of a fundraising letter distributed about two months ago. The letter was sent by the National Child Safety Council, with Evenson’s signature, so people know it’s a legitimate cause, he said.

The NCSC is a federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to keeping children safe, according to its website. Materials are available exclusively through local law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The NCSC holds an annual fundraiser, with money earmarked for specific agencies. All contributions sent in support of the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office are specifically for publications and resources, which Evenson says are used in conjunction with DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and other outreach opportunities in schools.

Educational materials range from drug prevention to stranger danger, bike and playground safety, how to call 911 and more.

These funds enable the MCSO to purchase these materials. When the materials arrive, they’re not a full palette, but they come in multiple batches, Evenson said.

Companies, organizations and individuals all contribute. Nearly two months later, Evenson is still receiving — on average — a check a day. For that, Evenson is grateful.

“Anything we can do to make the world a little safer,” he said.

For Gayla Baker, the cause directly helps children and also benefits the entire county.

Baker, who is a board member of the Jane Preservation Society, said the organization’s leaders recently voted to donate $1,000 to the cause.

Although some may think their organization is solely about history and preservation, Baker said helping county children is a big mission.

“We care deeply about our community,” she said. “It will help to do some good.”

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