Brownwood’s Boy Scout Troop 14 volunteered at The ARK Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Shelter on Monday evening, taking down old bunk beds and assembling new ones for ARK clients at the Brownwood nonprofit.
The Scouts built five sets of bunk beds and moved some furniture for the ARK, which regularly houses abuse victims and their children. ARK program director Jana Jackson said the organization sheltered 288 clients in fiscal year 2016.
“We provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Jackson said.
Juliet LeMond is the mother of Boy Scout Ryan LeMond and the troop’s committee treasurer. LeMond said The ARK contacted her troop and asked for help with the project. “It was up to the boys, because Boy Scout troops are run by the boys. When I brought it to them, they were all unanimous. ‘Yes, we have to do it!’” LeMond said. “Instead of our regular meeting on Monday, we went to The ARK.
“The boys had an absolute blast,” LeMond said. “It’s pretty amazing what [The ARK does] out there, and they do it with so little. A lot of their grants depend on community donations — donations of service, and of actual things.”
Jackson said a lot of The ARK’s grant money relies on community support. “One of the things that people don’t realize is that we receive state and federal grants that help us with things like providing utilities and groceries … but those funds are very limited. Part of the conditions for the grant is that we receive in-kind donations, so we must receive donations and then the grants will match what we receive.
“Those donations can be anything from personal hygiene items, which we need all the time, to clothing, and even people’s good condition leftover furniture and things like that,” Jackson said.
She also encouraged locals to assist with The ARK’s fundraising efforts, which cover non-grant funded costs like property maintenance and doctor visits for clients.
To learn more or to donate to The ARK, the shelter can be reached at 325-643-2699 or online at www.arkshelter.org. It is located at 2900 Coggin Ave.