Participants parents and staff of New Leaf Link (NeLL) react happily to the news that their program has just received $20,700 from from the United Way’s Community Investments fund.
NeLL began ten years ago when a small group of parents met together to plan some way of providing socialization and ongoing stimulation for their special needs children, now young adults, who had completed high school. They began carefully, putting in countless hours of their time, building community support, holding fundraising campaigns and yard sales. Now, ten years later, they have the use of a fully accessible, kitchen equipped space at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist church, and a two day a week program, Fall to Spring, for 16 participants. The programs are wide ranging, including theatre and visual arts, physical activities, computer skills and food preparation and sharing.
This new grant will make it possible to extend the winter program to three days a week and continue through the summer. “This has been one of our goals all along;” says Karin Steiner, the Executive Director, “to have more continuity in the program, especially over the summer.”
Program participants pay $35 a day, and the program will still depend on community support, but this gift has been a big step towards sustainability for NeLL.
Community members who would like to learn more about this program are always welcome to come visit on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the gym at Harrowsmith Free Methodist
Church any time between 9 and 2.