Several local daycares experiencing unexpected difficulty in get - KOAM TV 7

Several local daycares experiencing unexpected difficulty in getting new storm shelters


 Several local daycare providers say they're running into roadblocks while trying to pay for new storm shelters.  The daycare providers tell us the roadblocks are unexpected because they come from disaster relief organizations.

"It's just the smart thing to do," says Sherry Albright, owner of Wee Care daycare in Joplin.  

Albright organizes fire drills and tornado drills, since this is tornado alley.  But those tornado drills are done without a tornado shelter.

"We just feel here that we always try to do the very best that we can.  We want to keep the kids safe and happy and healthy and make the environment as safe as it can.  So it's just natural to step that up, now that we've seen that some of that we've done in the past, like going into the hallway, aren't that effective," says Albright.

Albright says the cheapest storm shelter she's come across, big enough to hold all 20 kids infants to five years old, is $6,000.  It's a big cost for a daycare with four staff members.

"Joplin saw an incredible amount of support come through.  But we've also seen and read stories about some of that money is still being held.  We can't seem to find out where," says Albright.

"When we look at the recovery fund, the donors are very specific.  They want Joplin to be built back," says Stephanie Howard with the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri.

"So everything that we do has to be affected by the storm itself," says Howard.

Albright's for-profit daycare is two blocks from the Joplin tornado's path.  Also, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri can only donate to nonprofit daycares.

"It's the Community Foundation's guidelines.  That way, we can ensure it's going to the right person.  It's not going to be used and abused," says Howard.

So for now, Albright's daycare is asking for donations to help pay for a new storm shelter.

"I would much rather put one in now before we need it.  I would love it sitting here and never needing to use it," says Albright.

Albright says she's also looking for organizations that are willing to donate money towards her project and other daycare's similar projects.  

The Salvation Army has been holding on to some money, deciding on how to spend those dollars.  That organization has not returned out call for information on whether a decision has been made yet.

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