Volunteers loving on kids. That’s what is going on right now at Greenfield United Methodist Church.
When Sunshine Day Care Board President Pat Reeves learned the staff of the daycare would be resigning and something would have to be done to find childcare for the families Sunshine served who couldn’t find alternative plans, Reeves knew someone needed to spring into action to help.
“The next thing I knew, the teachers at the school [who had children who attended] needed help. The first one was crying and asked if I could help her. I told her I would figure out something,” Reeves said. “I knew I couldn’t do it at the daycare.”
Once the church identified that they had space and could gather volunteers to help, they did. As soon as a few days after the day care closed, the sounds of children playing with loving adult volunteers filled the hallways of the church that are mostly otherwise quiet, save for Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
“It’s volunteers loving on kids. Parents dropping off their kids to volunteers,” Pastor Melinda Stonebraker said. “It’s not really even a church program. It’s that we have space and there is need and there is time, so that’s really what it is.”
Stonebraker said the church council responded overwhelmingly that it was right for the church to step in and help. Church leaders in the community have been conversing about how the community’s childcare needs can be best met for quite some time, Stonebraker added.
“One of our goals for the year was to reach out and show appreciation and care for younger people, which would include families. Those who are making a difference in the world but where life is sometimes a little challenging,” Stonebraker said. “I wrote in my newsletter for February that this was a goal then all of a sudden there’s this opportunity. God put it right in our lap.”
The Sunshine Day Care is in the process of reorganizing and intends to reopen as soon as possible. Their latest report says that may be in early March. They were gathering applications for people who would like to work there in multiple positions. They are also taking this opportunity to rebrand the day care and make necessary renovations to the facility.
“The families really only had two days where they had to find their own,” Reeves said. “They’re so grateful.”