Wow, what a week! The dust has finally settled enough for me to write a blog post just to update everyone on the new daycare center. I admit that I was a little nervous last Sunday night when I had 0 kids officially enrolled. I figured Monday would be a slow day where we could just organize the daycare and relax a little. I was dead wrong. At 6:30, our first two kids arrived and within a few hours, we had more children knocking on the door. By the end of day 1, we had 6 kids on the waiting list.
My greatest happiness comes from the fact that we have enrolled 10 children who used to spend the entire day at the shelter. These 10 kids no longer have to spend 8-12 hours cooped up in a dark house without clean water, first-aid, toys, fresh air, or care and attention from adults. They are now in a clean and healthy environment where they can learn and play under the care and supervision of our staff.
I’ve known these kids in their former environment and now in their new environment and already I can see a change. Their smiles are just electrifying. The little ones are talking so much more, the older ones are doing their homework every day and obviously loving all of the games, puzzles, and toys at their disposal. Nearly all of the children (15 out of 17) grew up in the shelter so they already know each other. It already feels like a family with the older ones looking out for the little ones and everyone pitching in.
Opening this daycare center was a bit of a gamble. We didn’t know how many kids we would have, if the community would get behind us, if we could rally the financial support that we need to keep this project going. But even though we knew it was a gamble, we felt that it needed to be done. Now. And when I spend the day at the new daycare watching the kids play, it’s clear to me that we did the right thing at the right time.
I can’t wait to see how things develop. We already have 2 local volunteers interested in committing their time to help the kids, and this week our Board of Directors is meeting with local businesses to start securing food and supply donations. The community is really coming together on this to support some truly amazing kids. And I couldn’t be more grateful.