The below article has been written by Ruthie Connor, Service Manager at Busy Bees at Crace.
At Busy Bees at Crace, we are always striving for new ways to connect with our local community. Recently, we invited our Families to donate some much needed items to the Gungahlin Community Pantry run by Communities at Work.
The Community Pantry in Gungahlin is a community-run service that provides healthy food and personal care items to individuals and families who are experiencing hardship. Over a two week period, the Families at Busy Bees at Crace donated a generous amount of items – so many that we eventually had two full trolleys!
The children watched eagerly as the number of donations grew. This began to spark their interest about the donations and what they would be used for, where they would go, and who in the community needed them.
Extending on this interest, the Educators decided to connect with Communities at Work for the opportunity to involve the children in delivering the items to the Community Pantry. Once all the donations had been received, 10 children from the Researchers class and their Educators loaded the donations into the bus ready to see how the donation process works.
They arrived at the Community Pantry, where they had the opportunity to be given a tour of the service. The children excitedly met all of the Volunteers, and eagerly brought all of the donations inside.
“Look at all of this stuff we have brought!” said Miss C excitedly as she showed the volunteers all the baskets of donations we had gathered.
The children then worked as team to unpack all of the items onto the shelves.
“We have bought all of this tuna for everyone” said Mr H as he proudly showed the staff all the tins of tuna.
“And nappies too!” exclaimed Mr E.
The children took so much pride in donating all of the items and listened intently as the Volunteers described what would happen to their donations. The Volunteers explained how the children’s donations would help the community and the families and individuals who are going through some hard times, especially this close to Christmas.
This process allowed the children the opportunity to learn that, through the act of giving, they can make such an important difference in the lives of others. By creating a sense of belonging for the children within the community, children have the chance to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Identity is an integral part of children’s development as they grow, learn and discover not only their own place in the world, but their ability to influence others and the world around them. Providing interactions that encourage care, empathy and respect for those around them builds this strong sense of identity in children, encouraging them to grow into caring and responsible citizens.
Quality Area 6 | Element 6.2.3 – Community Engagement
The Service builds relationships and engages with its community.