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Program to rise from Roosevelt ashes, help needed



Trina Dietz
Communications Coordinator
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Catholic Charities program to rise from Roosevelt ashes, community help needed
As the Roosevelt Early Childhood Center burned on June 14 and 15, Catholic Charities employees were among those in mourning.

For many years, District 742 has partnered with Catholic Charities Young Learners Program to provide special education and mental health services at the site.

“Four of our staff serve children ages 3-6 who have significant mental health challenges” said Tim Lieser, Catholic Charities Director of Residential and Day programming. “To those staff, and the kids they served this was their school.”

Catholic Charities Young Learners Program follows the District 742 schedule, so only staff were planning to report on June 16. All classes have been cancelled for this week.

The one wall of the program left standing has a hand-painted tree on it – The “Calm Down Tree.” “That tree was a centerpiece of our program”, said Lieser. “We, as staff, often talk to kids about coping skills and needing to find a way to calm down. I really think this tree – even though it’s painted, stayed standing for a reason. It reminds us that we’ll get through this.”

In order to begin again staff need to scramble to secure a number of items. The public can drop off any donations at Catholic Charities Administrative Offices, 911 18th St. N, St. Cloud between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Needed items include:  

·       Cash donations
  • Sand toys 
  • Outdoor toys
  • Moon sand
  • Legos
  • Up to 16 inch bikes
  • Duplos
  • Plastic (indoor) wagon
  • Superhero toys
  • Baby dolls (especially diverse dollls) and clothing
  • Doctor kit
  • Stuffed animals/pets for vet play
  • Kitchen toys
  • Coloring books
  • Children's books
  • Barnes and noble gift cert
  • Cube chairs
  • Bean bags
  • Blankets
  • Kids underwear sizes 4-8
  • Pillow pets/stuffed animals
  • Medium Rubber maid / storage containers
  • Children's DVDs- Dora, Ni Hia Ki LAN, Backyardagins, Sesame Street, Barney
  • Washable markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Children's scissors