A local charity has achieved a national award.
ROC Eastman Executive Director Moni Loewen says her organization was the recipient of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Award of Merit; an award that is given out only once every year.
Loewen indicates that her whole team at ROC was shocked and humbled by the honor.
“People are seeing the value of what we are doing in our small communities at a national level which feels really important,” expresses Loewen, “The voices of our ROC families are being heard and that’s incredible.”
Loewen says her team was presented with the award at a convention in Winnipeg where hundreds of other organizations were in attendance. She feels this newfound publicity could be instrumental.
“It really opened up some new conversations both provincially and nationally,” explains Loewen. “I just want people to understand the things we are learning about families living in poverty and how that relates to their opportunities in this world.”
Loewen admits that poverty is a massive issue and that their program is just one small solution to one problem. Nevertheless, she believes opening up this discussion could lead to families being helped all over the country in the same way that they are being helped locally.
Getting children involved in recreation helps them feel valued and gives them a sense of ownership, indicates Loewen, and that goes a long way in helping a family, no matter where they're from.