A recent financial donation to Arkansas’s oldest and largest psychiatric treatment facility for adolescents is expected to help clients improve their lives.
Youth Home is a private non-profit psychiatric treatment center for emotionally troubled young people. A $75,000 donation to the organization has enabled officials to buy vans and make other facility upgrades.
David Napier is Youth Home’s executive director.
“For the agency, [this gift] is a wonderful resource for us to be able to do some of the things we desperately need to do and have had to put off,” Napier said. “Transportation is a critical issue for us. [Our young patients use the van for outings] and they use it every day during the school year for transportation to their schools and back… it has been a real blessing to us as an agency to be able to provide new transportation.”
Phoebe and Dan Miller III made the donation to Youth Home citing the organization’s 46-year record of helping teens with emotional problems become healthy and productive members of society.
“The girls are so appreciative and that makes it all worthwhile too,” said Phoebe Miller, while watching youngsters gather outside for a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the new vans. “I’ve never been one that wants to send flowers for memorials that are going to die on somebody’s gravesite. I would much rather send a gift to some place, like Youth Home, where they can really put it to work and I feel like they get a lot more bang for the buck.”
Phoebe’s husband, Dan Miller, says he believes it’s important to look after the needs of young people. Dan Miller admits he’s pleased that Youth Home is making a place where children can live comfortably in society. He became emotional when some of the young residents thanked him for the gift.
“When you hear kids speak from the heart… you kind of tear up a little bit,” said Dan Miller. “I’m glad they’re pleased and they’re happy. I hope it makes a difference in the way things function around here and they get a kick out of it and it will be a lot of fun.”
Chrissy Chatham is Youth Home's development director. She says the donation ensures the children have two new vans that will take them on recreational outings and to important doctors’ visits and court hearings.
“We have kids from all four corners of the state and everywhere in-between in our residential program. These kids need help not just for themselves but for their families too and for the communities they’re going back to,” said
Chatham. “Our kids have problems in school and so they come to us and their problems are dealt with and they’re given the tools... to be strong people, grow up, and help in their own communities.”
Chatham says Dan and Phoebe Miller have given small financial gifts to the organization in the past and were able to make this one-time significant contribution that will have a positive impact on Youth Home residents for decades to come.
Youth Home’s main campus is located in Little Rock, but the organization offers specialized programs for over 1,600 children and families across state.