Give Brayden the Chance to Play
by Melanie S. Hatter, Communications Coordinator
“Brayden” arrives at Playtime carrying his baby sister, and waits while his mom signs him in. He carefully hands the baby to mom then seeks out Laurie Heim, one of his favorite volunteers. During the previous session, they had begun working on a project together – making a potholder on a loom. “I saw it in a department store and grabbed it a few months ago,” said Laurie. “I had one when I was a kid and loved it.”
Brayden, 9, often gets frustrated and upset when things don’t go his way – he’ll quickly knock down Jenga blocks or crumple a drawing if it’s not turning out exactly as he wants. He often has trouble connecting with his peers and has been bullied at school. But Laurie knew he was good with his hands and that he had responded well to similar crafts projects, so she invited him to work with her on the potholder.
As he works, she encourages him, telling him how well he pays attention to detail, and teaches him the word, “dexterity.” He repeats the word several times. Focused, he leans over the loom, carefully catching the loops with a crochet needle until the edges are complete. “Yay, I did it!” He raises it up to show everyone and says, “It’s a gift for my mom.”
Your support gives Brayden the chance to explore new activities, to be encouraged by caring volunteers, and to learn how much he is valued. Without you, many children living in shelter don’t get to connect with a caring adult, solve problems creatively, build self-confidence and resiliency, develop new friendships, and enjoy activities designed to support healthy child development.
Make your gift today to ensure more children like Brayden get the encouragement they need to feel valued and motivated to explore new activities. You give them the chance to experience the power of play!