Gabriola Cooperative Preschool fundraising for Emergency Preparedness Kit

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, February 28 2017

Francis Wolokoff put an application in to the Village Food Market (VFM) on behalf of the Gabriola Cooperative Preschool (GCP) to be one of the community organizations that will benefit from the VFM Community Card Program.

“As part of our licensing and safety we have an emergency preparedness kit that needs refreshing,” says Wolokoff, a herbalist, whose son is four and joined the preschool in September last year. The family has been on the island for a year now and are loving the community and the preschool.

“We need a kit for natural disasters and other crises, especially with our little ones. We’ll be replacing and adding to the one we have.”

Items that need replacing are non-perishable food items, an AM/FM radio, flashlights, a shovel and a shelter. The kit also contains first aid kits and all the children’s emergency records. “Because they’re children, it can be especially frightening, so we might need a few games in there. The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has a full list and suggests also having safety gloves and a crowbar. The point is that Alex [Dewar], our Early Childhood Educator (ECE), will need to keep the kids safe. Who knows how long it might take for parents to get there, so we need a thorough kit for at least three days with enough food and water and supplies.”

Ten children attend the preschool twice a week. As part of a yearly check that parent volunteers perform, they realized they didn’t have the supplies they needed and they had to ensure everything was up to date.  “We went through the emergency preparedness kit and realized that food we had there was out of date. It’s a bare bones one right now.”

The preschool is fundraising for the amount of $2,500. Wolokoff says the VFM has been wonderfully supportive of their preschool. “Since this is an item with a larger price tag, we felt the community could assist us in reaching our goal and the VFM has kindly offered to donate the non-perishable food to the kit. It’s an important aspect of our operation, having this emergency preparedness kit, and our school has been part of the community for 40 plus years. We appreciate that the community has supported us this far and we need a bit of help so we can continue.”

Wolokoff says what’s special about the preschool is that it is play-based. “It’s very much about learning to be social and free thinking and cooperative, and it’s also good to get to know other parents and the kids my child is going to grow up with. Alex is wonderful. He plans out interesting activities for them. My son loves going to school. He comes home every day and I ask what his favourite thing is and he says everything is my favourite thing.”

The preschool is a non-profit organization and they are always in need of donations of any kind. To see about helping with their fundraising efforts with the Community Card Program you can contact the VFM.