It’s a place for new moms and dads to learn how to cook nutritious meals.
A place for children to play, share and create with one another.
A support centre. An educational facility. For many, a home away from home.
Our Kids Count is a community development centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario that provides programs to help build stronger families and inclusive communities using skill-building and educational workshops.
Since 1996, Our Kids Count has worked with more than 5,000 parents and 10,000 children.
The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation recently donated $5,000 to Our Kids Count in honour of Thunder Bay REALTOR® Vince Mirabelli – the first Canadian REALTORS Care® Award recipient.
“The impact (of the donation) is huge. Every dollar we get is worth about $10 in service and delivery because we are very creative about how we stretch and use money that comes to us,” said Our Kids Count executive director Gladys Berringer, adding the $5,000 donation is earmarked for the community kitchen program. “We’re constantly looking for donations and support from the community to help us.”
She said Mirabelli has been a supporter of Our Kids Count ever since the organization was trying to secure funding for a new building years ago. She called him an “amazing man with a huge, huge heart.”
Our Kids Count delivers programming in a variety of methods including the community kitchen, planning teams, a young parents program, prenatal or postnatal support groups, home visits and family counseling. While parents are attending one of the many in-house sessions, Our Kids Count provides free childcare by trained Early Childhood Education workers.
They are currently involved in a number of programming partnerships with organizations in Thunder Bay such as Evergreen A United Neighbourhood, Anishnawbe Mushkiki, March of Dimes Canada, Regional Food Distribution Association, the Children’s Aid Society and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.