Five Local Children In Need

By Shannon Magsam,

Usually, a virus is a bad thing.

But when what’s being spread is information about someone in need, it’s good for it to go virile.

Northwest Arkansas mom Lisa Cabledue is seeing how her initial prayer request for five siblings in need made its way through this community and turned into an outpouring that she never anticipated.

“It was like walking a kitten that turned into a horse,” she said.

cp_logo_site_header_v1.pngThe horse power behind the effort to help this family has come from people sharing the need through Twitter, Facebook and websites like the Cobblestone Project, a local nonprofit “aggressively pursuing ‘A Community Without Need’. I hadn’t met Mike Rusch and the others who are with the Project before, but after chatting with him and looking at the website, it’s clear their work is grassroots and phenomenal. They just jumped right in when they found out about these five kids under the age of 10.

Now the children and their grandmother — who has taken them in to keep them together and out of foster care — are getting practical help along with needed prayer.

In addition to help from Cobblestone, the chef from Kay’s Kitchen  donated frozen dinners; people have stepped forward to help with construction (Lisa says they really need a project manager to help determine how a room might be added on since the grandmother is sleeping on the porch); money and clothes donations have been made; and the offers of help keep coming. Students at Har-Ber High in Springdale are even pitching in.

You can help, too.

We knew the Motherlode mamas would want to know about this family and do something to help. As moms, we can all appreciate that this grandmother is trying hard to keep these kids together. They can use financial donations as well as clothing, cookware, mattresses, etc…

Old Navy in Fayetteville is accepting clothes donations for the kids. Just take them up to the register or find a salesperson if you want to help in this way. Just tag the donation “One & A Million Family”. Click here to go to the Cobblestone Project page to see the clothing sizes and other things that are needed.

You can also donate money via Cobblestone’s fund for the family by clicking here. Or you can send the money to (479-685-3662). She’s setting up a fund for the family at a bank today.

To give you some background on the situation, here’s a letter to Lisa from a local school counselor about the family:

We have a family of five children who have been taken in by an elderly relative because there is no one else in the family willing to take on such responsibility. The children had drifted in and out of foster homes in the past and were about to go into long term foster care. This elderly family member agreed to take them because they were going to have to split up the children in order to find placements for them. She couldn’t deal with the fact that they have lost their father (death) and mother (incarceration) and would now lose each other. Because she took the children voluntarily, she receives no aid to care for the children as other foster families would. This is what she said to me soon after taking the children, “I was sitting here at my home alone, wondering what I would do with the rest of my life, when I received a call from a children’s advocate of the court, asking if I would take the children. I realized that this is what God’s purpose is for me.”

The challenges have been many, as her home was not equipped to handle so many young children. She has been sleeping on a porch covered in tarps so that the children could have the bedrooms. The children came to her with many challenges behaviorally and socially and have changed greatly after being placed with her. She has been ill lately, but she doesn’t complain. she tells the children that as long as she is still on this earth, they will be together as a family. As far as I am aware, she subsists on social security and any help that she can get as far as food stamps etc. The children come to school clean and fed, but I know that she worries about them having enough food. The seven year old boy recently told me that his dream would be for the family to get to go to Chucky Cheese. We do as much as we can for her here at school, but realize it is only a fraction of the help she needs.

Lisa, a humble mom who is uncomfortable in the spotlight, is not revealing the name of the family because she doesn’t want to compromise their privacy. She did, however, meet with the grandmother and kids on Saturday and was happy to report to the family all the ways people are mobilizing to help them.

“I told her ‘I admire you so much for what you’re doing for these children'”, Lisa said. “I was just so impressed by her. She is up for the challenge.”