Society Provides Support to 900 Families

Society Provides Support to 900 Families

In a building that once housed a detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, families in need can now gather for life-changing support from the Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society.

Families First is a non-profit organization that provides early childhood development, parenting programs and other family support to more than 900 families each year in Fort Saskatchewan and Alberta’s capital region. Because of heavy demand for its programs, the organization outgrew its former location and needed a place with more room.

A team of nine Dow volunteers spent a December day painting, renovating and refurbishing the new facility to help get it ready to open.

“The energy was high throughout the day, and we had so much fun doing it,” said Tina Thomas, an Improvement Engineer at Dow’s Fort Saskatchewan site who was one of the volunteers. “Families First does an incredible job of enriching our local community here in Fort Saskatchewan. It’s great to see them in a larger, functional space where they can have greater impact.”

An important part of the new facility will be Dow Discovery Zones, areas that offer STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs for children, inspiring creativity, learning and community connectedness. Dow partnered with Families First for its “Building Our Village” fundraising campaign, including a $100,000 financial contribution that made the Discovery Zones possible.

“Families First is tremendously grateful for Dow’s support on this very unique and special community project,” said Heather Boonstra, Families First executive director. “Dow’s investment pillars are well aligned with Families First’s mission of creating a resilient, healthy community for tomorrow, and to that end, we are most excited about creating Dow Discovery Zones throughout our new space. These zones will inspire creativity and learning, and promote community connectedness for individuals and families in and around Fort Saskatchewan for many, many years to come!”

The next phase of the partnership includes a Skills Based Volunteerism project with participation from Dow’s Women Innovation Network (WIN) team. WIN volunteers will combine their engineering, project management and parenting skills to deliver an inspiring play space for young learners.