From free hot dog Thursdays to a community garden ripe for picking, Woolwich Community Services has plenty on offer for just about anyone in the community throughout the summer months.
Every week on Thursdays throughout July and August (except August 8), a free hot dog lunch will be offered to anyone interested at 5 Memorial Ave. from 12-1 p.m. There are meat and vegetarian options available, along with a drink.
“We received some funding through Woolwich 100 Women Who Care, and it was to support the connecting of people in the community,” explained WCS executive director Kelly Christie. “So we decided we would have hot dog Thursdays and invite everyone in the community to come and meet each other and stay connected.”
In case you miss out on the hot dogs, there’s an alternative food option in the form of public access to a community garden where fresh produce grows.
“Last year we received a grant from RBC here in town, and we purchased some gardening pots outside,” said Christie. “If you’re out for a walk and see a ripe cherry tomato, you’re welcome to help yourself. It’s for anyone who would enjoy it.”
The organization did receive funding from several other organizations, using the funds toward specific causes. A grant from the KW Community Foundation allowed WCS to hire a new support position for the community.
“We were able to hire a staff person for 15 hours a week – the connection partner – and she actually will meet with adults either here at the office or wherever is best suited and help them get reconnected in their community and get supported by meeting other adults,” said Christie. “If they need some assistance in joining different activities she can go with them and join in with them.”
Funding received by the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation is going towards youth programming as part of the Rural Child Wellbeing project. The youth program is aimed towards children ages 6-10 and fun themed events take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays throughout July and August, except for holiday Mondays.
The offering this week, for instance, was outer space: those participating got the opportunity to learn about outer space and craft a planet using paper mâché. Next week’s theme is bugs and butterflies, where youth will go on a quest to find both, along with a creative drawing in the mix.
Another grant through Canada Summer Jobs has allowed WCS to make some internal changes as well and give an employment opportunity to youth.
“We received three summer grants for summer students through Summer Jobs Canada,” said Christie. “So we have a young lady working at the thrift shop this summer, we have youth centre staff, and then we have an event planner here as well that’s helping with hot dog Thursdays.”
The group also coordinated with the Elmira lawn bowling program, and are encouraging adults of all ages to try a free night of lawn bowling. It will take place on July 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. and give everyone an opportunity to meet their neighbours.
“We’re just having refreshments, everyone can come out and try lawn bowling and learn about it,” said Christie.
The Woolwich Youth Centre at the WMC is also making changes: the organization has extended its hours throughout the summer; instead of 3 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., the centre will be open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“We received funding and just purchased two Apple computers at the youth centre, so they’re going to be doing a lot of unique programming with that,” said Christie. “There’s just so much happening at Woolwich Community Services.”
For more information, visit www.woolwichcommunityservices.org.