CHILDREN’S NEEDS DISTRIBUTION CENTRE (CNDC)
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In 1993, one individual from Highland Baptist Church began to collect and distribute used clothing and toys for families in need. This undertaking quickly became known and as others volunteered to help, the CNDC was formed. The Waterloo Region has the fifth largest immigrant population of all urban areas in Canada, including many who are refugees and come to Canada with nothing. As with other municipalities, there are many local families in need; the working poor, single parents, those struggling on welfare. Although there are many social agencies in place to help these people, the CNDC is unique in its focus on children.
The present organization is composed of two programs. The first one involves the collection of children’s gently used clothing (new born to size 16), toys, books, and equipment, the laundering and mending as necessary, and sorting by size and season. Clients make an appointment through the church office to come and pick up items free of charge and are often accompanied by a support worker. Some of our volunteer sorters have been clients themselves and their ability to speak languages other than English is invaluable. From October 2014 to October 2015, the CNDC served 505 families representing a total of 1288 children.
The second aspect of our work involves supplying new infant car seats to families identified as in need by a social service worker in a local agency. In this endeavour we work closely with Grand River Hospital and are often called on to deliver a car seat to a Mom who would not be allowed to leave the hospital without a safe seat for her baby. Many of our referrals are made through the Region of Waterloo Public Health Family Health Program, the K-W Pregnancy Resource Centre, Community Centres, and local agencies helping young unmarried mothers. In 2015 we were able to supply 81 new car seats to those with few resources of their own.
A support worker with the K-W Pregnancy Resource Centre, sent us the following letter about one of her clients:
“I sat cradling her newborn son in my arms. Her face radiated the joy that accompanies the miracle of birth. She watched us sitting there in quiet contentment, and then she said words I will never forget: “I can’t believe I ever wanted an abortion.”
Distraught, desperate, looking for a way out of the shame of an unplanned pregnancy, she had come to the K-W Pregnancy Resource Centre looking for an abortion referral. Instead, we were able to offer her hope and support. We planned a visit to the CNDC and while we were there I watched a significant change take place in her attitude toward her unborn child. As she held up tiny sleepers, adorable little baby shirts, receiving blankets and other practical items, she fell in love with her little one, a bonding took place. When we discovered that she would be able to receive a brand new car seat, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the program. Thank you, CNDC, for playing a significant role in the lives of this precious mother and child.”
The CNDC is open from 9:00 to 11:00 am. every Tuesday morning. To make an appointment, please call the church office at 519-745-9461 any weekday morning. Donations of gently used children’s items may be dropped off in the bins inside the back door of the church any weekday morning or Sunday morning. We are always in need of clothing, strollers, double strollers, highchairs, and other baby equipment. With your help we continue to be a much-needed resource in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.