A quick look around our three residential campuses for families experiencing homelessness is all it takes to know this: children are at the center of life at Family Renew Community.
Swing sets. Sliding boards. Playhouses. Shelves full of books and toys. Though modest, our amenities offer children a chance to be kids while their parents work to lift their families out of homelessness.
Over the past few years, we’ve also scheduled enrichment activities for children. Most notably, we’ve offered Wednesday afternoon MakerSpace sessions with age-appropriate endeavors rooted in science, technology, engineering, art and match on our Holly Hill campus. The COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, interfered with these STEAM-powered programs.
Facing continuing challenges, such as reluctance to gather in indoor spaces and shortages of volunteers available on weekdays, we’ve reimagined our children’s programming as Saturday morning, creative outdoor fun.
As this slideshow depicts, we had a ball at our Bubble Blast! It took place on a Holly Hill campus on a recent Saturday. J.C. Deobil, the volunteer behind our children’s activities, planned a morning of bubble-centric activities. Volunteers from St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic Church — Ellen Schembri, Betty McKay and Cara O’Keefe — served breakfast and stayed around to play.
“Had a great time. Felt like a kid again,” Cara says.
J.C. says the plan is to rotate the event between the campuses in Holly Hill, Daytona Beach and DeLand, so all of Family Renew’s children have a chance to participate.