To end the summer, the CPC team spent its Q3 volunteer day at Vogel Alcove, an early childhood education center for homeless children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, in Dallas. Vogel Alcove is the only comprehensive early childhood education program in the city of Dallas whose primary focus is to provide free childcare and case management for children and their families referred by 21 local emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, housing programs and organizations that serve homeless families.
We spent the first half of the day sorting clothes in the resource center, which teachers utilize when a child has an accident during the day. Most children are sent to school with an extra pair of clothes, but unfortunately, the kids attending Vogel Alcove don’t have that small luxury. The resource center organizes clothing by gender and age, making it easy for teachers to pick out a clean outfit.
The second half of our day, and my favorite part, was spent in the classrooms interacting with the children. My particular classroom had a birthday that day. Companies or individuals sign up as “Birthday Buddies” and donate cupcakes and a few toys for a child to open on their birthday. Most of the kids have never had a birthday celebration before, so this is a special treat that Vogel Alcove provides.
Watching the kids eat cupcakes, sing “Happy Birthday” and dance to music, you would never know that they are different from other children their age. Even though they don’t have homes or may be recovering from a traumatic life experience, they still deserve every opportunity that children growing up in traditional homes receive. Vogel Alcove works to give them those opportunities by ensuring they are up-to-speed with children their age when entering kindergarten and giving them a safe haven away from the homeless shelters, while their parents obtain resources or look for jobs.
Volunteering with Vogel Alcove was a wonderful experience for our team and we hope to go back soon!
|Showing off our hair accessories found in the Vogel Alcove Resource Center.|