A look at Lawton's J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

A look at Lawton's J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter

Lawton_9-year-old Haley Moore has a special holiday wish. Instead of getting presents on her birthday this year, she sent out birthday party invitations to her friends asking for them to bring a Christmas gift for a child at Lawton's J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter. It's an emergency shelter for abused and abandoned children.

  All kids have a wish list for Christmas and the kids at J. Roy Dunning are no different. But for many of them, their wishes are a little deeper than a kid can write on a list to Santa, like being home or even just being in a safe home.

   Dunning employee Theresa Alf says, "The children are in some kind of dangerous situation. They've been abused, abandoned, or neglected. They're in some kind of a situation where the police have been called to a home." Then police bring the kids to J. Roy Dunning's secret location with just the clothes on their backs.

   "Most of the kids that I see come in they're wearing dirty clothes or they have to go in the bath right away because they're just not what you do for your own children," said Tanya Files of the shelter. With 900 kids coming to the shelter like that each year -- they need everything. "Think of everything you used from the time you woke up this morning until you went to work." said Alf.

  Everyday necessities like toothbrushes, combs, towels and clothes. But those aren't exactly on the kids' dear Santa lists. "Think of all the things that everybody's children ask for every single day, those are the things that our kids want, too," said Alf.

  They'll wake up early Christmas morning and run straight to their stockings. They'll shake their presents under the tree, just like any other kid. "Christmas is definitely a big thing. We try and make sure the children get tons of toys for Christmas because we don't want them to feel left out or feel different just because they are here in a shelter instead of in a regular home," said Files.

  Kids up to 12-years-old stay at J. Roy Dunning an average of about 2 weeks. The 8 children there now will likely spend their Christmas there, too.

  But with "Haley's Holiday Hope", this Christmas will be one to remember for those kids. If you'd like to help make Haley's wish come true, come out to the Lawton Y-M-C-A Thursday, December 11th between 5 and 8. We'll have a crew there that will deliver the toys, hygiene products, and donations to the shelter.

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