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Community finds innovative ways to keep programs moving forward

Community is finding innovative ways to keep programs moving forward in Ignace.
Gwen Andrews from Nursery School/EarlyON Child and Family Centre delivering bags with resources for do-it-yourself activities to children up to 14 years old. (Photo supplied)


The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is supporting a number of community initiatives in Ignace as schools and most public areas remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Community organizations are finding ways to reach children and families in their homes.

“The NWMO remains committed to supporting families and our community during this difficult time. The well-being of our communities and region are paramount,” said Chantelle Gascon, Community Liaison Manager at the NWMO.

The “Blessings in a Backpack” program is delivering food to children at home to avoid hunger. The program, which is normally operated through schools, provides nutritious, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food. Volunteers purchase food and pack it for distribution. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) donated $4,500 to help the program fill in any gaps during COVID-19 outbreak.

The Busy Bag program for families with children up to 14 years of age initiated by Ignace Nursery School/EarlyON Child and Family Centre, is another example of a vital program for children and families during the COVID-19 situation. The NWMO contributed materials and resources to complement what was provided by the Centre to facilitate outdoor play.

“During this time, we wanted to make sure families had access to fun, do-it-yourself activities that can help keep children entertained. The bags are age-appropriate and independently geared toward each child,” said Yvonne Dungey, Ignace Nursery School staff member.

The support and excitement from the community for the bags has been overwhelming, with more than 58 families and 120 children accessing the service.

The Emmanuel Anglican Church also initiated a similar program for senior citizens where volunteers delivered “Senior Quarantine Care Packages.” The NWMO supported this initiative by contributing drawstring bags, pens and word search books for 85 seniors.

Additionally, to promote physical activity and mental well-being, the NWMO recently supported the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) activity bags for youth in Grades 7 to 12 by providing wooden and paper craft kits and 65 drawstring backpacks. The NWHU organized a Teen Challenge, with support from community partners and each youth received an activity bag which included gardening supplies, crafts, journals, games and snacks.


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