VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Wabash Valley McDonald’s owner/operators donated $25,000 to Isaiah 117 House in Vincennes at a check presentation on Wednesday. Isaiah 117, which is currently under construction, will serve as a safe space for children awaiting foster care placement after being removed from their home by the Department of Children Services (DCS).
“This project is so important for Knox County and the surrounding area,” said local McDonald’s owner/operator Wally Nowakowski. “The Isaiah House will provide a caring atmosphere for children right here in our own community during a potentially traumatic time in their lives.”
On average, 250 local children are in DCS custody at any given time. Currently, those awaiting foster care placement are housed in the local DCS office. Once completed, Isaiah 117 will be a place where these children can be fed, bathed, and clothed. The home will be equipped with toys, school supplies, toiletries and clothing. The home will also serve as a resource for foster families and will lighten the load of local DCS workers.
“Often, when children are removed from a living situation, they do not have many personal items with them,” said Jacquelyn Cunningham, Isaiah 117 Expansion Coordinator. “Not only will we provide the essentials, but children will get love, attention and support from our volunteers during their stay.”
The $25,000 donation from the Wabash Valley McDonald’s owner/operators will fund a special visitation room inside the house where parents or caregivers who are allowed supervised visitation time with their children can meet in a safe manner and play together. The room will have a living room area, kitchenette, half bath, and play space.
“We’re honored to make this visitation room a reality and provide a calming place to have sensitive conversations and visit as a family,” said Nowakowski.
The local Isaiah 117 House broke ground at 2820 Arc Avenue in Vincennes in October 2020. The organization is currently raising funds for additional amenities as construction is underway. For more information, visit www.isaiah117house.com/indiana-homes or www.facebook.com/isaiah117knoxcoindiana.
Wabash Valley McDonald’s organizations regularly give back to the community. In summer 2020, 21 local restaurants raised more than $14,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities through the Sleeves for Support program. Additionally, this fall, 14 educators across the Wabash Valley were recognized as part of the McDonald’s Teach it Forward Outstanding Educator awards.