Bona Vista

SPRING CLEANING — Ryan C., 3, works on putting together a wooden puzzle during center time at Bona Vista’s Early Childhood Center recently. The program is looking for specific donations – like puzzles -- to benefit the children served that can be dropped off to 1220 E. Laguna St. in Kokomo.

The sun is finally shining on a more consistent basis, and the temperatures are slowly rising. We weren’t sure winter was ever going to end, but spring is the constant reminder that it always does, right?

For many people, the first chance to open the windows to the outside air also brings about the urge to purge – spring cleaning! While you’re going through your items, I’d like to encourage you to think of our early childhood programs. Now, let me clarify – we don’t need EVERYTHING you own, and some of the items we could really use need to be brand new (and you’ll see why in a moment)! That’s why I want to give you an idea of why we need some items, what our greatest needs are and how you may be able to help!

The Early Head Start program at Bona Vista is home to something called the Kiddo Kloset. It is an incentive for families and parents to become more involved in our Early Head Start Program with their child(ren) while being given an opportunity to earn items from the Kloset. We put donated items in the Kiddo Kloset that SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) will not cover. Parents who attend Early Head Start-sponsored events with their children, who attend meetings we host, who complete in-home visits, take-home activities, or who make and follow through with medical appointments can earn points to redeem for items in the Kiddo Kloset.

We are looking for the following new items to put in the Kiddo Kloset: diapers and pull ups (all sizes), diaper wipes, diaper cream, toilet paper (four-packs), paper towel (one-roll pack), toothbrush, toothpaste, liquid body soap, bar soap, deodorant, dish soap, sponges, air freshener, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, dryer sheets, razors, light bulbs, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup, children’s underwear (big need!), feminine hygiene products, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, trash bags, first aid items, and night lights.

Bona Vista’s Early Head Start is a program where children and parents learn and belong. We support families with children ages birth to 3 and even expectant mothers through our free prenatal program. Taking a proactive and family-centered approach, Early Head Start offers center-based child care, home-based programming, and family development programming free of charge to those who meet the requirements. It is one thing to teach and love on a child, but when you teach and love on their families, too, it makes it that much better!

So, what gently-used items could we take if you find them while cleaning? In all of our early childhood programs, we work on potty-training. As you can imagine, that leads to some accidents. We are always in need of children’s clothes (specifically we could use pants/shorts/skirts) sizes 2T-7/8 and under. We want our friends to be able to move forward with the day and not have to worry about their clothes, their accident, or their insecurities. Can you help us?

Other items to keep your eyes open for while spring cleaning that we could put to good use would be: Bumbo floor seats, wooden puzzles, and educational toys (counting, alphabet, etc).

One last thing, we don’t have much storage. So, I’m going to ask you to look at your gently-used clothing items and think to yourself, “Would I put that on my own child if it still fit?” If not, we appreciate the gesture, but we would graciously decline. I don’t want to create more work for our staff than I do good. Hopefully you understand.

If you are interested in donating, please bring items to 1220 E. Laguna St. or call 765-457-8273 to arrange pickup. If you have never been to our Early Childhood Center and would like a tour, please call that same number and ask for our Community Education Coordinator Troy Bowers.