After giving so much to the community, Brighter Futures is hoping the community can help them out.

Jen Sinclair, the executive director of Brighter Futures Family Resource Society, says they are looking to fill some spaces on their policy board. “We currently have five board members. Ideally we are looking for five more,” she says.

Sinclair says it’s a low time commitment. The board meets once every two months for about two hours, meaning a total of 12 hours per year. Sinclair chooses a couple of policies to review each month and the board helps to decide when and where edits are needed. 

“We also go over what’s happened in the organization in the last two months,” says Sinclair. “I give them a fill-in, let them know what’s up and coming, and if I have any issues they give me guidance.”

When it comes to finances, the responsibility of the board is only to review and approve expenditures. There is no treasurer on the board, but the Chair and Vice Chair are needed to sign cheques.

Brighter Futures has been in the area since 1994, when they first started in Breton and served rural locations. Eventually, they moved their office to Drayton Valley, but they still have programs running in the Faith Covenant Church in Breton, the Alder Flats Community Hall, Easyford Hall and Miss Joanne’s School of Dance in Drayton Valley.

The programs they offer are for children aged 0-6 and their caregivers. Sinclair says these programs offer fun learning and socialization for both the children and their parents. She says there is some circle time, free play, crafts and snacks.

“It’s a good way for moms to connect with each other, and for kids to socialize if they aren’t really getting out of the house much,” says Sinclair.

Brighter Futures also offers a Nutritious Beginnings Program, that helps pregnant, at-risk moms. There is some financial support, check-ins to ensure they are getting to the doctor, and giving them guidance if it’s needed.

“We even supply them with car seats if they need them,” says Sinclair.

She says that while there is some financial support, that isn’t the goal of the program. Instead, they are focussed on educating moms that need a bit of support.

Another support they offer the community is Baby’s Essentials, which is run entirely on community donations. Sinclair says when the Food Bank gets donations of diapers, baby wipes, formula, or other necessities for babies, they forward them to Brighter Futures. She says they distribute those items to families in need. 

The Essentials program will also help with a $75 gift card at a grocery store so that caregivers don’t have to choose between diapers or formula and food for the rest of the family. She says if the mom is breastfeeding, they encourage her to use the extra money to purchase healthy foods.

This year the donations have been way lower than usual, says Sinclair. She says they are hoping that monetary donations and item donations will increase, as they require community support in order to keep the programs running.

Sinclair says anyone who is interested in becoming a board member can go to their office in the Rotary House for an application. Those who wish to give to the program can drop their donations off at the office in the Rotary House, or they can attend one of the fundraiser’s the program hosts throughout the season.

“They can just give us a call and either drop it off or we can arrange a pick up,” says Sinclair.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Oct 26, 2023 at 10:10

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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