Staying ‘Connected’ to the Bright Space® in McAllen, TX
Bright Horizons® Regional Manager Sofia Everett and Director Lisa Salas recently made a visit to the Restoring Dignity Bright Space they helped create this summer in McAllen, TX. They have continued to have a relationship there as a Bright Horizons Foundation for Children® “Connector” volunteer.
“When we arrived, children were at tables coloring, on the floor playing with blocks, or sitting and making bracelets,” says Lisa. “It was what a Bright Space should be for children.”
She and Sofia were amazed that more than 2,500 had passed through the Bright Space since it opened in July, including up to 260 children in one day. There are often up to 65 children using the Bright Space at one time.
There were three volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services that had been working in the Bright Space for the past 11 days from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. The volunteers explained that they clean and sanitize toys in their hotel room every night and make a fresh batch of play-dough to bring the next day.
“We talked with them and got a feel for what has been taking place in the Bright Space,” said Lisa. “As we were talking to them, they shared with us that they try to clean up as much as they can–but have been limited with supplies. So we pulled out our mops, magic erasers, Lysol spray, and more, and began to help clean the space as best we could in the time we had.”
Sofia and Lisa got a wish list of supplies to take back to their colleagues. Before they left, they purchased some new bins and labeled them in English and Spanish. They also got a little thank you gift for the volunteers who are helping the Bright Space be what it should for children daily.
Connector volunteers are a crucial part of the Bright Spaces program. They serve as liaisons between the agency staff where Bright Spaces are located and Bright Horizons employees. Connectors can help facilitate employees who want to volunteer at the Bright Space, or can host Brightening Lives Activities at centers or offices to collect supplies or make things that children and families need. If you are interested in being a Connector, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.