When Moie Moulton, executive director of Neck of the Woods (NOW) child care center, was asked by Rotary members last November to complete a community needs survey, she replied that she would do better than that. She asked if she could speak at an upcoming Rotary (Zoom) meeting. Rotary leadership had been exploring ways to address the club’s desire for more volunteer work focused in child care, food insecurity and affordable housing.
Moulton joined a meeting in December, sharing her past experience in child care and her vision for NOW: to provide strengths-based care, play and learning to local children ages 6 weeks to 12 years to help guide their development as healthy, positive, resilient members of the community. Rotary membership was excited and saw a clear need for their help that would fulfill their mission. A relationship began.
Rotarians have toured the NOW facility, located in the former Small Dog Electronics space on Route 100 in Waitsfield, to gain an understanding of the work to be accomplished. Rotary has budgeted $1,000 for paints and has begun small painting projects in the building. They have a plan for more hands-on work as soon as more members have completed COVID vaccines. Rotary approved a $2,700 grant for NOW staff-required training. Recently Rotary awarded NOW a $15,000 grant over three years for build-out of the infant and toddler space. The first $5,000 has already been distributed.
“It’s a terrific partnership,” says Karl Klein, Rotary president. “Our membership wants to engage in projects that support and improve our community. We can’t think of a better use of our time and money than helping NOW provide high-quality, affordable child care to Valley families.”
For more information on Neck of the Woods, visit www.neckofthewoods.com. For more information on the Mad River Valley Rotary, visit mrvrotary.com.