A spokesperson for ROC Eastman says their organization isn't only about sports.
ROC stands for Recreation Opportunities for Children. Moni Loewen says they are now officially a charity. As an organization they work with families who, as a result of barriers are not able to get involved in the recreation they love. By recreation, she says the sky is the limit and that includes music.
ROC this last week received a cheque from Country 107 in Steinbach. The money has to be used to help young people with a love for music.
"This is very, very meaningful to us," says Loewen. "The timing could not be better."
Loewen explains they have a new family that recently got involved with the organization. In previous years, this family had good access to music and lessons. But for whatever reason, this is no longer a reality for this family.
"They have missed it desperately," says Loewen. "It's very meaningful to them to be able to get back into some music and music lessons and the money will go directly to that family."
Loewen says the way the organization works, through a referral process they will meet with families needing a boost. A representative will go right into their home and ask the children what they would like to do for fun. Though sports is included on the list, this also could mean dance, arts, volunteering or gardening. Then, ROC makes that happen through some finances for things like registration, equipment and transportation. The goal is to get these families to continue taking part in these activities, but without funding from ROC.
Loewen says ROC receives a small grant from the province but the rest of their funds comes through donations. She notes in their current capacity they say 'yes' as often as they can, but wish they could say 'yes' even more.
Meanwhile she says it really should come as no surprise that the need is so great in this part of the province. Loewen says sure it may be hard to imagine so many kids not being able to participate in recreation, yet each of us can probably think of at least one family that fits this description.
ROC has been around since 2009, covering the entire Eastman region. If you need help or are able to help out, please contact Moni Loewen at 371-2887.