Accepting Donations

Grace's Place is seeking financial donations. Here Amanda Jones, executive director, right, accepts a donation.

Grace’s Place, a crisis and respite nursery in Washington, is in immediate need of financial assistance. Without help, the nursery may be forced to close its door to the community.

Amanda Jones, Grace’s Place executive director, said a minimum of $10,000 is needed to keep the facility, located at 302 Lafayette St., open.

“We have been hit hard with utility bills and expenses during this brutal winter,” Jones said.

The main focus is on utility bills, which are “extremely high,” she said.

“The facility is an older house. It’s not energy efficient at all,” said Jones, noting that on top of record setting low temperatures, the facility has experienced frozen pipes and other problems.

The electric bill is two to three times the budgeted amount, she said.

If secured, the $10,000 would help fund the facility until the end of May. After that, Jones said there are several summer events that will bring in revenue. She also has applied for grants that could begin as early as June.

In addition to utilities, donations also would help with general operating expenses.

Jones noted that Grace’s Place is the only respite and crisis nursery in the county. It serves any family experiencing a crisis, which is a situation that could potentially lead to a child being abused or neglected.

The facility does not get reimbursed for children cared for outside of Franklin County, because of its licensing, but it still helps those families.

“We have to be realistic. If they don’t come here, what kind of risky behavior are they going to engage in?,” Jones asked. “We’re serving those populations because they have no other resources.”

Jones said the board has discussed moving to a new, more energy-efficient facility, but it does not pay rent at the current location. If it were to move, Jones noted, the new facility also would have to be relicensed.

“It’s not as simple as you would think,” she said.

Grace’s Place obtained its 501(c)(3) status in December 2010. It opened its doors to the public in December 2011.

Since that time, more than 170 children have been cared for in more than 120 families. Some of those children were cared for in more than one instance, Jones noted.

“We need the support of the community, individuals and businesses in the form of monetary donations,” Jones said.

The facility appreciates donations of clothing and other items, but needs money to funnel toward specific needs.

The money must be raised by the end of May or the facility cannot keep its doors open.

To donate, people may visit Donations also may be mailed to P.O. Box 83, Washington, MO 63090, or they can be dropped off at the facility.

Donations are tax deductible.