100 Women back vision for kids’ play space
The gift of play was the result of the latest gathering of 100 Women who Care Annapolis Valley, as the Windsor Daycare was the chosen charity of $10,300 December 11.
The women’s charitable group met for its quarterly event at Kings Riverside Court in Kentville, taking in three five-minute presentations before selecting the daycare’s playground project. Director Heather Cochrane and Sue Spencer were teary-eyed with the good news, as they know their vision of “outdoor rooms” will make such a difference in the experiences of over 80 children in the centre’s daily care.
“Five years ago, we built a new building,” Cochrane said. “We have served Windsor and Hantsport and the community for 41 years, we have over 80 children, we have dedicated staff – some who have been here over 30 years; but, our play yard is yet to be completed.”
Spencer described some of the benefits kids experience playing in natural, unstructured spaces, from building social and problem-solving skills to gaining an appreciation of their environment.
“The first worm in springtime; the first snowflake in the winter – the look on little ones’ faces is priceless.”
The 100 Women who Care attendees agreed, putting their money towards the creation of a play space that will include a mud kitchen, grassy areas, willow huts and a music room.
Also benefiting this evening were two other community non-profit groups, the Berwick Food Bank and Chrysalis House. Both took home $1,000 radio advertising credits with K-Rock, which they can use to spread the word about their programs, services and needs.
Kathy Fleiger said the Berwick Food Bank serves 112 families, representing 300 people, every month, on average. One-third of those are children under age 18, but the food bank volunteers also express regular concern about the circumstances many single adults find themselves living in.
“We fill up the shelves, then we decide: this is what we have to cut back on today, or this is what we can give extra. Always, we wait. This money would change our thinking on the food we buy. It’s tight all the time.”
Chrysalis House director Ginger MacPhee said the public often doesn’t hear the success stories of women and families who use the emergency and life skills programs at the Kentville shelter, “but we do.
“We help women connect with community and services, but also find ways to rebuild their lives,” MacPhee said, describing the centre’s art, education, life and relationship skills, financial training and housing assistance programs.
“We’ve had a recent announcement, there is a new shelter planned. We’re excited with our new project, and to share it with our community.”
The 100 Women who Care Annapolis Valley meet quarterly, with members pledging to give $100 donations to each event’s voted recipient. Non-profit groups are nominated for the opportunity to present to the 100 Women. Join us for our next meeting!
Sara White, secretary
100 Women who Care Annapolis Valley