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July 15, 2014 06:13 PM

A Safe Place For Families

Sioux Falls, SD

The Family Visitation Center is a place for families to meet peacefully, in a controlled environment. KELO-TV is teaming up with the organization to help gather some much needed supplies.

Every year, hundreds of kids come through the Family Visitation Center in Sioux Falls. Whether it's to switch households for the week, or just to visit with a parent, the Visitation Center is all about the children.

"We provide kids that opportunity to come in on a daily, weekly basis and spend that time with mom and dad. And leave with those positive memories," Executive Director for Family Visitation Center Aaron Wimmer said.

Some of the kids who have restricted visitation with their parents come from homes with domestic or substance abuse. Wimmer says it's still important for those kids to get to spend time with their parents in a safe space.

"Long term, we know and research has shown that when kids have that long-term connection, as long as it's a positive connection with both parents, that's what is best in the lives of kids. So that's what we work to create," Wimmer said.

Because the Visitation Center serves kids from infants to 18 years old, the facility has a variety of needs.  That's why KELO-TV is hosting a community donation drive to gather supplies for the organization.

"With over 700 kids every year, there's a huge need for some of the essentials. Such as Kleenex; toys as well. Looking at the utensils that maybe are necessary for the family meals that they're maybe having while they're here," Wimmer said.

And that's just a portion of the list. Wimmer says he's excited to see how the community can help the kids they serve daily.

The donation drive will be held in front of the KELOLAND station at 501 South Phillips Avenue in Sioux Falls on Thursday, July 17. You can drop off donations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can find a full list of supply needs online.

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