By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
A Town of Castor program designed to help get kids into recreational activities is in danger of shutting down.
The ‘Care 4 Kids’ program is running short of funds and if two more requests are made for funding the program will be completely out of money and unable to help those in need. The program helps local families who couldn’t otherwise afford sports and recreational activities by offering assistance of up to $250 per child, per year, and the funding for the program comes 100 per cent through community donations.
“The program was started by the churches in town to help kids who couldn’t afford to pay for sports,” said Recreation Director Natasha Bozek.
“Unfortunately, the churches either no longer exist or aren’t consistently donating.”
The program is facing the shortfall despite capping assistance at $250 per year, per child, and requesting that all parents apply for the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program first.
The program, which normally spends about $4,000 per year helping families has to date only spent around $1,500 thanks to the changes, but even so the program is running short and is appealing to the community for donations.
“We are looking for donations to keep the program going,” said Bozek.
“If we don’t have any money in that program, we can’t offer help to the families.”
Aside from asking families to apply for the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program first for sports-related activities, there are no requirements to access the program. The funding can be used for Castor youth to access activities in Castor, such as music lessons, ski hill passes, and other recreational activities not covered by Jumpstart.
Currently six to 10 families a year make use of the program.
“It’s an important program, we need to have it,” said Bozek.
“Without donations we can’t help those families.”