Idle hands not an option at Worcester Youth and Family
BERLIN—Melanie Windsor, youth project coordinator for Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, is in the process of encouraging the children who visit the center to use their creativity for philanthropic, as well as fun, purposes.
Windsor outlined several “character building” projects and activities that would give the children’s playtime a service element that could allow them to contribute to the larger community. It started last year, she said, when the participants created holiday ornaments that were sold at Bungalow Love.
Windsor said she would like to find additional vendors and opportunities for the children this holiday season. This year’s items will include “guardian angels” that will be sold at Bruder Hill for the organization’s Carolyn Cordial Living Legacy Fund. Cordial (deceased) was one of the founders of Worcester youth, according to Windsor.
On Nov. 5 a small group of children visited the Northern Worcester Senior Center, said Windsor. They were given the opportunity to briefly chat with 25 residents and present them with scarves the children had made.
Holiday projects will also include “thank you” cards for military service members and will be included in packages that are being filled by Stephen Decatur High School’s Connections Club, which is holding a care box drive.
WYFC organizers were looking for nonprofits with ideas for activities and projects that are appropriate for 6 to 11-year-olds, Windsor said. She added that she has received positive feedback from parents who were happy to see their children involved in making “hands-on” projects.
Windsor said any children who want to, will be allowed to participate in the town’s holiday parade on Dec. 5 and will have a role in the annual Reindeer Run on Dec. 7. They will also make items like ornaments, gifts, prizes, even dog toys for animal shelters, she said.
Any child resident of Berlin is eligible to participate in Worcester Youth activities, Windsor pointed out. There are no income or family circumstance requirements connected to the center’s programs. On average, roughly 25 to 30 children from all geographic and income sectors of the Town of Berlin converge to stretch their imaginations with the projects sponsored at the center, she pointed out.
Asked if there were things that the center needed, Windsor suggested project-making materials, specifically fleece fabric the children use to make scarves to give as gifts, and volunteers. Any qualified individual who enjoys working with children on skills-based, self-directed projects is invited to call to find out more about the program.
For more information about Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, call 410-641-4598, visit the Web site www.gowoyo.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.