Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News email@example.com
Volunteers are badly needed for the Northern Montana Child Development Center, providing services to the Havre Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. NMCDC is a no-cost, comprehensive program serving primarily low-income expectant families and families with children ages 0 to 5 in Hill, Blaine and Liberty counties. The Federal deadline for the 2005-2006 program year ends on Nov. 30. As a way to ensure involvement by local program recipients and communities, matching or in-kind volunteer time and materials are a requirement of receiving Federal funding. The Havre program is still in need of $140,000 worth of volunteer time or materials. NMCDC is required to repay the government $4 for every $1 that is not matched by volunteer hours/materials. No hours carry over from one year to the next. Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this year the Havre program received 1.5 million. They employ just over 50 local people and provide services to 211 children. Regular volunteers are honored each year based on the number of hours that they serve. Those that volunteer 50 or more hours during the school year are honored with a dinner provided by NMCDC and those with 75 or more hours are honored with dinner and a gift. Cindy Sinclair, Assistant Director, expressed appreciation for the help that they have already received. Although direct Cash donations cannot be accepted, there are several items that NMCDC could use. Currently, there is only one playground area that can be used by both programs. The children from one program cannot be on the playground at the same time as the children from the other. "The current playground was designed for the Early Head Start Program and the equipment is not appropriate for the older children", said Sinclair. An area has been set aside for a separate playground for the older children. This area will need pea gravel (donated, hauled, and laid), fencing, equipment and a sidewalk laid. If anyone wishes to help with these projects, they can call the Center at 265-5810. NMCDC could use art and craft supplies as well. People wishing to donate time might consider riding the bus, reading stories, answering phones or helping in the kitchen. An example of volunteer time given by Sinclair was an outing provided by a local family taking the children horseback riding. Anything that you maybe good at or enjoy doing could be turned into a volunteer opportunity. As part of a separate project, artwork created by the children was mounted and framed. The creations are on display in the hallways around the Center and are for sale at $5 each. The money received from these purchase of these pictures will be donated as an in-kind contribution. Background checks are a requirement for all volunteers who come into contact with the children. They are provided free of charge by NMCDC.