Let's turn an empty lot into a lot of fun!
Sister Tesa and Hour Children open a new play yard for kids and families
Update: It's a win! The yard is funded and Hour Children will have a safe, fun place to play! Thank you everyone!
"We transformed a blah into an ah," says Sister Tesa. "This is where you can see love in action; Hour Children is a can-do organization."
According to the children living at Sister Kathy's House, the best part of the house is "the back yard" where they can ride their bikes, play in the pretend house and picnic table, and smell the flowers in the garden.
Sister Pat, the Housing Coordinator, reports that for many of the kids, this is the first time they have lived somewhere that has safe, open play space.We were able to transform a concrete slab into a beautiful, family-friendly play yard at our newly renovated transitional housing building.
This project will create a fun and safe space for the children living at Sister Kathy’s House. The play equipment will let the children run around, ride bikes, and just be kids in their own backyard. It will also allow for the families to spend time together socializing as the children play or organizing barbeques and celebrations. The convenience of having a real backyard will ease some of the pressure of the mothers, provide a healthy outlet for the children and create a natural place for families to build friendships and support one another.
The construction of Sister Kathy’s House is scheduled for completion in March 2011. In the meantime, we have started to develop the plans for the backyard with the building's architect. In January, we hired a playground designer and selected actual equipment and ground cover. We finalized the design plans in February, and will order equipment in March and begin construction in late March. Our goal is to complete the construction in early June. We are working with our community, the Pinkerton Foundation, and Beanstalk to fund this wonderful project.
- Preparation: $5,000
- Design: $3,000
- Equipment: $18,000
- Installation: $12,000
- Landscaping: $2,000
- PR and Marketing: $2,000
- Total: $42,000
Because we have found such generous partners, we are going to our community to raise the final 15% of the project costs. If we raise funds above our goal, we will also be able renovate a small yard in the front of the building.
As with any work we do, extra publicity to educate the general public is very important. This population is hidden from most people’s understanding of our criminal justice system and poverty. Hour Children welcomes volunteers for this and all of its programs. We work with hundreds of individuals and dozens and dozens of groups each year who volunteer their time including tutoring, mentoring, cleaning, painting and assisting in our Thrift Shops, which operate on donations alone. For this project, we specifically need construction and landscaping services, along with construction equipment and plants.
Teresa Fitzgerald is a pure New Yorker. She works in Long Island City in Queens. She talks fast. She thinks fast. She acts fast. Even when she smiles, Teresa Fitzgerald gets things done. Teresa Fitzgerald also spends her days hanging out in prisons.
In 1986, Sister Teresa Fitzgerald and four other Sisters of St. Joseph led the opening of St. Rita’s Convent’s doors. They welcomed the children of imprisoned women.