Charity spotlight: Ambassadors for Children

Talk about feeling like a million bucks.

An energetic 12-year-old boy, who was to re-enter foster care, recently stopped by Ambassadors for Children and its Kid’s Closet. Turned out, he had never worn new clothes before. That was, until he walked out of the dressing room at Ambassadors for Children – and, as a result, soon found inspiration in the arts.

“In the caseworker’s words, ‘He was 10 feet tall and bullet proof!’” said Denee Fay, Executive Director of Ambassadors for Children. “She snapped a picture of him on her phone, and he immediately asked, ‘Can I wear these home?’”

Ambassadors for Children really does go the extra mile, providing dresses for teens attending prom and other social events.
Ambassadors for Children really does go the extra mile, providing dresses for teens attending prom and other social events.

Such feel-good stories are all over the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, the annual PGA Web.com Tour stop in Springfield. The tournament has gifted almost $13 million to children’s charities in the past 26 years, and the PCCC is proud to have Ambassadors for Children on board again.

After all, you never know many lives you could truly touch. Ambassadors for Children supports kids affected by neglect and abuse by offering free clothes, hygiene and much more.

“Child abuse and neglect leaves a lasting impact on a child’s perspective of themselves,” Fay said. “We often see older siblings taking on the role of a parent to younger siblings. Ambassadors for Children is available to meet critical needs and provide opportunities for them to be kids again. A visit to the Kids’ Closet to receive clothing is only the first step to restore self-esteem.”

At Ambassadors for Children, helping kids affected by neglect and abuse is priority No. 1, Director Denee Fay says.
At Ambassadors for Children, helping kids affected by neglect and abuse is priority No. 1, Director Denee Fay says.

Fay went on.

“Our foster kiddos soon find out there is a world of possibility available to them beyond basic clothing and hygiene needs,” Fay added.

Such was the case of the 12-year-old boy. Ambassadors for Children not only provided new clothes but also a duffle Pack-A-Bag stuffed with hygiene items, a blanket and some art supplies.

Who knew the art supplies would have such an impact? He quickly started drawing detailed designs on the drawing pad and, his caseworker realizing his interest, enrolled the boy in art therapy. Soon, he was “finding his voice” through the arts.

“I would have never known he had an interest in art if that drawing pad had not been in his bag. There is no other way to say it. It was a God moment,” the caseworker wrote to Ambassadors for Children, which shared the story recently. “He was so struck by these new clothes and the difference in how he looked. We came back to the residential facility, and he was showing everyone his new clothes and camouflage bag. It made a huge impact on our staff who could see such a change in his confidence.”

Here’s how you can help:

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza  .PCCC-fansguide
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.Win this truck
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400. 

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2016 PCCC (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • AMBASSADORS FOR CHILDREN: The organization provides quality services and support to foster families in Greene, Christian and Taney counties. Call their office at 417-708-0565.

For anyone with a disability, A Sporting Chance offers a real chance

Shelby Twigger of Nixa has found a great league in A Sporting Chance.
Shelby Twigger of Nixa has found a great league in A Sporting Chance.

What an act of kindness. Shelby Twigger, who was born with Down’s syndrome, scored a goal at the end of a Nixa youth soccer game a few years ago after opposing players cleared the way.

“My wife and I couldn’t believe it. It touched us deeply. It was very moving,” said her dad, Doug. “But at the same time, it made me think, ‘Those kids held back, and they shouldn’t have to do that.”

With that in mind, the family turned to A Sporting Chance, which provides amateur sports training, competition and recreational programs to any person with any disability – such as youth who are disadvantaged, abused and neglected; as well as at-risk teenagers and senior citizens.

Which is why the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to support A Sporting Chance again this year. The PGA’s Web.com Tour stop, set for August 5-15 in Springfield, has gifted almost $13 million to local children’s charities in its 26-year history.

To support Shelby and many of the other kids who compete in A Sporting Chance, here’s a rundown:

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

  • HELP A SPORTING CHANCE: If you would like your child to participate in any of the many programs offered by A Sporting Chance, call 417-874-1958 or email sportingchance@sbcglobal.net.
  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza. PCCC-fansguide
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.Win this truck
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia.)

About A Sporting Chance

A Sporting Chance gives many kids a chance.
A Sporting Chance gives many kids a chance.

Put it this way: Dick Jones does not take a salary, despite being the founder of A Sporting Chance. Instead, he lives off his retirement from the state Department of Mental Health and Social Security. And he has only one part-time assistant in Georgia Houser.

Yet he still has a bounce in his step all these years later when he leaves the house every morning.

“You have to have,” Jones said. “We do everything we can to save a buck. That’s really why we’re glad to be part of the Price Cutter Charity Championship. We generally receive $25,000 toward our $250,000 annual budget.”

Jones has been a lifelong sports fan and has long hoped to give everybody – regardless of ability – a chance to play sports.

For 24 years, he served as the southwest Missouri director of the Missouri Special Olympics. Because he didn’t want to interfere with the good work of the Special Olympics, Jones dedicated A Sporting Chance to folks living will any kind of disability – including those with behavioral disorders.

These days, A Sporting Chance services 26 counties and 2,300 people annually, and he keeps it going strong. For instance, Jones will umpire softball games just to save on costs.

In turn, A Sporting Chance’s board members along with Jones will help park cars during the PCCC. The non-profit uses the tournament’s donations to cover a portion of costs for competitors’ entry fees. That’s by design.

“They need to know that nothing is free,” Jones said. “If you’re going to send them on in life, it’s important to teach life skills.”

A Sporting Chance has been a huge benefit to the Twigger family of Nixa. Doug and his bride, Sue, are parents to Jamel, now in the Marines Corps; Amber, now in the ministry in Little Rock, Ark; Trevor, a student at Evangel University; and Shelby, who turns 16 in October.

“It’s just nice to have a place where we can go where our daughter can play, regardless if you have a disability or ability,” said Doug, who now serves on the board for A Sporting Chance. “Now, 12 months out of the year, there’s not a night that goes by that we aren’t supporting a child with a disability. And for the Price Cutter to have events where children’s charities can benefit, it’s amazing.”

Here’s how to help: