Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Kathie Carroll Day, Managing Director of Development, and Stephen Croke, Playspace Program Director for the Northeast Region for Horizons for Homeless Children, to donate $1,200 to Horizons. When we selected Horizons for Homeless Children as the December recipient of our Giving Back Initiative, we knew that they provided safe spaces for children in difficult situations, but we had no idea just how extensive their Playspace Program is!
The Playspaces are thoughtfully designed to reflect the needs of children ages 0-6 and provide a dedicated place where they can play, learn, and build relationships with caring adults whom they can trust. All Playspaces have five activity areas including dress-up, arts and crafts, a reading area, constructive play (manipulatives), and infant-designated space. The Playspace that we visited was well-organized and full of toys and activities meant to inspire the imagination without over-stimulation or chaos.
Working with local shelters and primarily privately-funded, Horizons for Homeless Children operates over 120 Playspaces across the state. The Playspaces are staffed with highly-trained volunteers, called PALs (Playspace Activity Leaders), who play with the children while their parents attend counseling, meetings, or tend to other needs while they’re on-site. We were astonished to learn that there are more than 1,200 PALs across the state, many of whom stay for years, and they work on a regular schedule to allow the children to gain familiarity with them and offer another level of stability to their week.
In Massachusetts, there are over 16,000 homeless children under the age of 5. Every week of the year, Horizons for Homeless Children serves more than 2,000 of these homeless children and provides them with stability, learning opportunities, and a group of people that makes them feel safe. This is such a wonderful way to impact children in need, and we are thrilled to have been able to contribute to their program, thanks to the help of our customers.
To learn more about volunteering opportunities, visit http://horizonschildren.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer-network/pals/
If you would like to get involved or contribute in other ways, please visit http://horizonschildren.org/how-you-can-help/
Don’t forget to like their Facebook page www.facebook.com/horizonsforhomelesschildren to stay up-to-date on their events and news.
Remember that you can nominate a charity any time by going to our nominations page.
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