Community

What’s happening this month at the Family Resource Center

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

This time of year is filled with joy, anticipation, generosity and, frequently, stress. The cost of providing gifts under the tree on Christmas morning is more than many families can afford. The Holiday House is intended to alleviate this financial hardship.

The Holiday House is filled with donated gifts, and allows parents to pick out presents for their children. It’s a way for parents to assure a visit from Santa and still pay bills.

Are you wondering how you will afford Christmas this year? Or do you know someone who could be helped by the Holiday House? If so, it is easy to sign up for assistance. Call the Family Resource Center at 221-0484 or 221-6808, ext. 4602.

The Holiday House runs from Dec. 10-16. Please call in advance to make an appointment to shop.

Drop boxes for new, quality, unwrapped gifts and monetary contributions are distributed throughout the community. Monetary donations help us keep the shelves stocked with the most popular gifts.

Another way to give is through online shopping. Online purchases can be made this year from Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and ToysRUs.com. Just go to the wishlist section on any of the websites and type in “South Whidbey Holiday House.” Next, pick out the item(s) that you would like to donate, and your choices will be magically delivered directly to the Holiday House.

PARENTING CLASSES AND SUPPORT GROUPS

Coming in January, “Super Parenting for Super Kids” begins Tuesdays, Jan. 18 to Feb. 22. The class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; a light dinner is provided at 5:30, and childcare is available upon request. Space is limited. Sign up soon by calling the center at 221-0484.

This six-week class is for parents of K-6 graders with children who are MORE... intense, dramatic, persistent, energetic, distracted or sensitive than their peers. Facilitator Katharine Pfeiffer is the elementary school psychologist, and she is a parent of a Super Kid!

The class will cover discipline strategies, understanding temperament, homework struggles, family routines and more. The goal is for parents to become more informed, to feel supported and to feel encouraged.

SINGLE MOM'S GROUP

The Single Mom’s Group will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16. This group is open to any mom who is parenting alone, or feels alone, and needs the support of others.

Join us for an evening and meet other moms who know how hard it is to parent alone. Make new friends and gain more support! The meeting is casual and confidential. Enjoy a light dinner and free childcare (RSVP is needed for childcare). Call the center at 221-6808, ext. 4602 or 221-0484.

RESOURCE AND REFERRAL SERVICES

Besides worries about holiday costs, winter brings higher heating bills and other increased costs for basic shelter needs.

The Family Resource Center has a family support specialist available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday to help families learn about local resources that can help.

We also have a lending library stocked with books about child development and parenting. Stop by and visit.

Heidi Blindauer, outreach worker from the state Department of Social and Heath Services, is in the Family Resource Center from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday. The third Wednesday of the month, hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon. Save yourself a trip to Oak Harbor when applying for food, medical and childcare benefits by making a South End appointment. Heidi will meet with you privately to help with the application process, and answer any questions you may have. Call the center at 221-0484 or w21-6808, ext. 4602.

PARENTS OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN GROUP

All parents and caregivers of special needs children of any age are welcome to join this monthly support group.

Share laughter and tears, lend support or get support, and relax with other parents who share the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs.

December’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10 in the Resource Center. Please RSVP with childcare needs.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

The December volunteer of the month is a wonderful man who has already given more than his fair share of help to Holiday House, and the work has just begun. He looks like Santa Claus and has a heart just as big. We celebrate you, Ray Green.

Special thanks to you, and Mary, for braving the snow to get those Holiday House collection boxes delivered on time. We appreciate your determination, good sense of humor, patience and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Thank you, Ray, and here’s to another great Holiday House!

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