Giving a big hand for little hands

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

IN USE BY LITTLE HANDS | Some little ones enjoy table time in the new Child Enrichment Center at Sojourner Truth House. | photo by Lillian Beasley

Sojourner Truth House’s Child Enrichment Center a community gift

GARY, IN – March 26, 2012 – A room inside Sojourner Truth House has been converted into a new Child Enrichment Center, thanks to the creativity and generosity of some Northwest Indiana partners.

The newly refurbished room, which opened March 20 at the Gary day center, is intended to inspire interaction, in a healthy environment, among homeless and at-risk mothers and their children who are clients of Sojourner Truth House.

Furniture, carpeting, posters and educational materials were partially funded through a Child’s Safety Program grant from Geminus Corporation in Merrillville. “Moms on a Mission,” of Highland, donated such items as gently used toys, diapers, and books. IUPUI art student Danielle Lawson created a wall design of fictional characters.

“I am so excited that we can now work with the two generations to do just what our strategic plan calls us to do – break the cycle of poverty, one person, one family at a time,” said Sojourner Truth House Executive Director Sr. Peg Spindler, CSA.

Additional work from some Sojourner Truth House staff members was spearheaded by Program Services and Outreach Coordinator Robin Beasley; Special Projects and Events Coordinator Lillian Beasley; and Program Services and Outreach Administrative Assistant Alice Dawson. The group squeezed in several weeks of work on the room’s transformation when not tending to regular job responsibilities.

“(Our) staff and volunteers…are dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing and educational environment for our children so that parents, with a clear mind, can focus on improving their quality of life,” Robin Beasley said. The commitment, she added, is about building each child’s self-esteem and personal pride, and encouraging and supporting self discipline and social skills.

BREAKOUT BOX: Sojourner Truth House day center, located at 410 W. 13th Avenue in Gary, served 800 clients when it first opened in 1997, and today serves approximately 1,500 clients each month. It is sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Information: (219) 885-2282 or www.sojournertruthhouse.org.