By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Main Street’s Community Centre 55 is in need of blanket barriers for its child care centre – and it’s calling on residents to help.
The community-based organization offers a wide variety of programs and services. While a closure forced by COVID-19 has inhibited a lot of that work, the centre is eager to be prepared when it opens again. Part of that is ensuring enough supplies for its child care centre in the Ted Reeve Community Arena.
Blanket barriers – small blankets place on shoulders and chest of staff while comforting children – are needed most, licensed program manager Sarah Allen said.
“We’re in need of quite a few,” she said. “Our community has been generous in other ways, sewing and dropping off reusable masks, food donations and general offers of support.”
While closed until further notice, the centre continues to operate.
“During this pandemic myself and my staff have been offering online webinars, meetings, fitness and ball classes for seniors on a daily or weekly basis,” program director Evonne Hossack said.
“We have also assisted with meal deliveries, reusable masks and weekly phone calls to seniors.”
There is no set date for its reopening. Like other community centres, Community Centre 55 is awaiting provincial orders for Stage 3 reopening.
“These are extremely unprecedented times,” Allen said. “I have been in the childcare profession for 40 years, 26 of them at Community Centre 55 and haven’t seen the consequences of a pandemic before.”
“We are all treading on new ground and making the best of the situation. Community Centre 55 continues to operate (even behind closed doors) staff continue to help those that are in need, we have just found different ways on how to do this,” she added.
The centre is working to ensure the “best course of action” to follow mandatory public health guidelines and ensure a safe environment.
Allen is particularly appealing to seniors in the community who may have sewing skills to potentially sew blanket barriers for the child care centre.
For more information or to find out where to donate blankets, contact Community Centre 55 at 416-691-1113.
- Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.