Recreational Opportunities for Children, or ROC, Eastman is continuing to expand in helping kids, whose families can't afford it, to take part in recreational opportunities. Executive Director Moni Loewen says the need has continued to grow as more people become aware of the work they do.
"There's no question that as people and families become more aware of what we are doing, that we get connected to more families. That's what we want. Our goal, really, is to connect with those families that are quite isolated and not necessarily showing up on doorsteps and saying, 'Hey, I need a bit of a hand up.' So we are doing a lot of outreach to families that aren't necessarily looking for help."
Chelsey Neufeld is the Development Coordinator. She says the program is having many positive spin-offs, simply by giving children a chance to take part in activities.
"Sometimes it's sports and sometimes it's arts or hanging out with animals or creating music. We've seen that when a kid finds something they love, there is a ripple effect that goes to their siblings, that goes to their parents, their teachers, their classmates and, from there, to their parents' employers and the neighbourhood. When a kid finds something that they love to do, there is an incredible passion that is lit."
50/50 for Kids, in support of ROC Eastman, launched Monday. The raffle raised approximately $25,000 last year and Loewen says they are hoping for at least the same this year.