Over the past year everyone at Family Ties, including the staff, the Administrative Council and the members, has shown resilience. When rules changed because of the pandemic, we adapted; when the building was closed due to the renovation project, we packed up our things and held activities elsewhere; when problems arose, we worked as a team. Even though the programs have been dispersed across the town, the staff meets once a week and continues to support each other.
Everyone has been affected by the rise in the cost of living this year and we know that this has caused difficulties for many people. With the price of groceries at an all-time high, Family Ties was happy to be able to help in a small way by applying to the Good Food Access Fund and distributing IGA gift cards to our members. We will also continue to request support towards the cost of transportation for program participants in all of the applications we make to funders.
Increased costs of materials and labor shortages have also affected the Family Ties building project, causing funding shortfalls and a delayed start to the renovations. Thank you for your understanding and also for your support through the GoFundMe page which raised $42,215! Despite the setbacks, I am confident that work will start soon and the finished results will definitely be worth the wait.
I was very happy to participate in the Comité territorial en Développement social for the MRC of Bonaventure, representing Early Childhood and Anglophone families. The committee has developed a plan to identify the needs of our community and define the actions to be implemented to meet these needs. This has resulted in funding for programs throughout the MRC including the following at Family Ties: Destination Family; Born to Read; Nourishing Our Community and a shared gardener with Collectif Aliment-Terre.
Family Ties has also worked with La Table de concertation en sécurité alimentaire Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (TCSAGÎM) to create a bilingual toolbox which gives collective cooking tips, ideas and recipes for coordinators and members, helping to support food security.
As we look forward to the coming year, I am excited to welcome you back into the newly refurbished building and also to invite you to events such as the Family Ties corn boil, where we can get together and reconnect as a community. Some things may have changed, but with change comes adaptation and growth.
“If nothing ever changed, there would be no such things as butterflies.” Wendy Mass
Munchkin Mansion Playschool is a program for children ages 1-5 and their caregivers. Families gather for fun and learning through free play, story time, arts and crafts, singing, healthy snacks and outdoor play. Outings happen on a regular basis to the swimming pool, skating rink, Bioparc and other family-friendly locations. Parents/caregivers share information and knowledge and learn from early childhood professionals.