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Fraser Valley Child Development Centre gets financial lift from Chilliwack Foundation grant

The organization has incurred extra expenses while losing fundraisers during the COVID pandemic
Zoey Moore and Ramon Schulz-Wiebe play tennis during Therapy Camp, one of many services/events run by the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

The Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC) is getting help in a tough time from a Chilliwack Foundation fall grant.

The organization received $5,000 which will help support vulnerable children and families in the community.

“In COVID-19, we shifted many of our services to a virtual format. Our team members creatively adapted to continue providing skilled, compassionate service and this funding will be applied towards technology to enable our staff to run even more virtual client groups,” said FVCDC executive director Karen Dickenson Smith. “One example is groups that support children in the early years and their families, such as Mother Goose and Playworks. Another example is counselling and education groups for parents and caregivers of children with diverse abilities, that focus on healthy relationships and preventing burnout.”

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Dickenson Smith said the FVCDC’s ability to raise funds has been hurt by COVID 19, and the Chilliwack Foundation grant is like a lifeline in choppy waters.

“Our annual Swing with Bling golf tournament could not happen this year, which normally generates revenue for FVCDC,” she noted. “And COVID has resulted in additional operational expenses that were not budgeted for, e.g., technology and personal protective equipment (PPE). We have therefore needed to seek funds to make up the fundraising shortfall, while also seeking new funding to cover the unbudgeted operational costs.

“The support of the Chilliwack Foundation has made an incredible impact on our centre and the families we serve at a time when it is needed most,” she said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, families who were already overwhelmed are experiencing even more anxiety and stress.”

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Founded in 1982, the FVCDC envisions a world where all people are welcomed to participate meaningfully in family and community life. FVCDC gives children the tools for individual success and helps families/caregivers better understand their child’s growth, development and learning, and strengthen community inclusion.

A multidisciplinary team of 100 professionals helps over 3,600 children and youth with diverse abilities and their families in the Fraser Valley per year. Services include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, infant/child development consultation and family counselling support

FVCDC’s Chilliwack office opened in 1999.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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