By Toni Stauffer
On Monday, representatives from the Communities of Transformation charitable organization met with Phenix City Walmart Store Manager Sonya Lim to receive a $2,500 grant for their daycare program. The grant comes from Wal-Mart’s community grant program where stores are given funds to disperse to local organizations in need. CoT members were appreciative of the grant said the funds will help them pay daycare workers and buy Bibles for the children.
CoT is a regional initiative. The Phenix City branch of the organization is based at the Summerville United Methodist Church. The Rev. Ralph Wooten and his wife Janet are CoT volunteers. The organization focuses on helping individuals and families make changes that will improve their lives in the long term.
A message on their brochure reads: “Many families in our area are working hard, but they don’t know how to get to a better place. They lack more than financial resources. What they need are relationships, role models, and creative problem-solving to find a better path forward.”
Through the program, affluent community members, such as bankers, lawyers, and others, can surround the individual or family with a circle of caring that can result in true transformation. Three components help guide those in need to self-awareness and success: The building of structured friendships across racial, cultural and socio-economic lines; the identification of systemic issues that keep people trapped in poverty and the identification of strategies to address them; and preparation for job readiness and job search.
The daycare helps parents who are being served focus on their training. Children do homework, receive tutoring, play games, and do crafts in a safe and fun environment.
“It’s a good thing that we have daycare,” said Christine Washington, a CoT volunteer and a member of the leadership committee. “The kids are able to have fun while we work with their parents.”
“Sometimes it’s the kids that keep the parents coming back,” said Joan Gatewood, Vista Site Coordinator. “They enjoy coming and they make friends.”
CoT and Summerville UMC invite the community to join in assisting others, or just come see what they are doing. Meetings are Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET., at 1201 32nd St., Phenix City.