Children’s organizations have a common goal in mind: be a beacon of hope.
Hamilton Street Activity Center held its annual Christmas party on Monday. In attendance were approximately 70 children, who were treated to story time, songs, pizza, dessert and then, as numbers were drawn, each received a turn selecting one of numerous toys, dolls, and sports items.
“This is great,” said Rayah Kirby, a supporter of the Activity Center. “There are a lot of very happy children here today.”
Kirby was at the center dropping off a $500 donation from Kirby Real Estate.
“These donations mean the world to us,” said Hamilton Street director Lisa Harvey, who operates the facility with a team of volunteers. “We don’t request allocations from McMinnville government or Warren County government. We don’t want to be an added burden on them. If the good Lord compels someone to make a donation, we’ll graciously accept it. It helps keep the lights on and the doors open. Thankfully, this community is full of good-hearted people.”
Hamilton Street Activity Center is one of the three activity centers for McMinnville Housing Authority. These are located at housing complexes on Hamilton Street, Cope Street, and South Mill Street in Morrison. The Hamilton Street complex is the largest with approximately 70 children being involved.
“We serve all the children in the Housing Authority and surrounding area,” said Harvey. “If they are in walking distance and can get here, they are welcome here. We would never turn a child away.”
Along with acceptance, love and encouragement, the center offers homework assistance, afternoon snacks, supervised activities and organized play to school-age children. From homework supplies to afternoon snacks, the program is funded by community donations. Children are also treated to holiday fun throughout the year, such as the Christmas party.
At Kirby Real Estate, a portion of each realtor’s commission goes into a fund.
“As a whole, we all come together to make these donations possible,” said Kirby. “We take a percentage of our commissions throughout the year and use it at the end of the year to make these donations. We pick several nonprofits and make contributions.”
Donations have also been made to Homeless of McMinnville Effort, Meals on Wheels, Children’s Advocacy Center, Warren County Senior Center, Share a Christmas Dinner, Magness Library, and Kids of the Community, among others.
To provide assistance or volunteer your time, Hamilton Street Activity Center is located at 115 Hamilton Street.