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Company donates $200K to establish pantries

CHARLESTON — The Ball Toyota Family of Dealerships including Ball Toyota Charleston, L&S Toyota of Beckley and Advantage Toyota of Barboursville will announce a partnership with Handle With Care and United Ways of West Virginia to donate over $200,000 to establish pantries in United Way offices to provide food, clothing and toiletries for children and young adults in all 55 counties.

Shawn Ball, president of Ball Toyota, feels that children have never been more vulnerable than they are during this time of pandemic.

“We have all seen a rise in the number of cases of child abuse and neglect across the state. My brother and partner David Ball and I wanted to find a way to bring some relief to kids,” he said. “Growing up in Boone County we saw our share of families in crisis. Raising awareness, shining a light on poverty is the goal. We all need to work toward a solution and protect our children.”

The idea of the creating pantries grew out of Ball’s existing relationship with United Ways of West Virginia. Handle With Care was identified as an outlet to network with the public schools and best reach children in emergency situations.

The pantries will serve all 55 counties statewide. Handle With Care is a program which facilitates a network of coordinators who work hand in hand with law enforcement and West Virginia public schools. If a law enforcement officer encounters a child during a call, that child’s name is forwarded to the school and delivered to the child’s teacher before the school bell rings the next day. The school implements individual, class and whole school trauma-sensitive curricula so that traumatized children are “Handled With Care”. If a child needs more intervention, on-site trauma-focused mental healthcare is available at the school.

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