Faces of Kansas City: Donors help children suffering from abuse - KCTV5

Faces of Kansas City: Donors help children suffering from abuse, neglect

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A child's bedroom can be so much more than just a place to sleep. For many kids it's their sanctuary, their one place where they can go and escape some of the pressures of growing up.

The rooms at the Gillis Center are clean, but that's about all you can say about them.

"Yeah, it's pretty bare, kind of all one color, so we want to liven it up a bit, work on the ceilings and fix some of the stuff that's been in place for a long time that really needs to be renovated to make the kids feel comfortable," said Jason Ruoff.

For decades Gillis has helped children who've suffered abuse or neglect by giving them a nurturing and safe place to grow and learn.

"Our kids kind of get bounced around a lot, they don't have a lot of things that they can carry with them from place to place. A lot of our kids have had multiple placements before they come here," Ruoff said.

But with a little help from Superman, the bedrooms at Gillis are getting a super-human makeover including fresh paint, new doors, new beds, comforters and posters. The rooms went from dull to cool all because of donations from the community.

Gillis staff say the kids can't believe it.

"Somebody is doing this for me? People out there care enough about me to buy me bedding, to paint my room and give me a brand-new bed. They're just amazed," said Jennifer Hurst.

Hurst said what's even better is that the kids get to keep their new room furnishings, which for most of them is a really big deal.

"We have about five guys down there right now that have never slept in a bed in a bed before and they're teenagers and some of them have even come into us and said, 'Do you mind if I sleep on the floor?' 'Do you mind if I sleep up next to the door so that I feel safe?' So it's just really heartbreaking," she said.

If you'd like to donate to the Gillis Center, they are looking for complete bed sets for twin beds. The superhero theme is great, but local sports teams would work as well.

For more information, go to gillis.org or you can call George at Gillis to discuss a donation. The number is 816-508-3548.

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