WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Toys For Hurricane Katrina Child Care Centers

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

An eight foot pile of toys is a child's fantasy. But come March 1st, that dream will be a reality for child care providers devastated by hurricane Katrina.
"They're really struggling. There isn't a lot of financial backing for child care centers," said Sheila Chamberlain, owner of Children's Secret Garden Child Care Center in eau Claire.
Sheila Chamberlain heard about the crisis and in mid-January started putting the word out to collect anything possible to give to child care centers in New Orleans.
With help from the community and day care centers across the state, Sheila was able to collect enough toys and equipment to get at least five daycare centers up and running again.
"Just the outpour of everyday of walking in and seeing what has come in has just been amazing."
Chamberlain and a handful of volunteers spent a total of about 40 hours organizing the pallets and prepping them for delivery.
"We went through each item individually to see what age it was appropriate for, that it was in good shape with all of its pieces and in working order."
The 22-pallets of joy will arrive down south, thanks to a Walmart truck. But that's just the beginning. Chamberlain says there will be more to come this fall.


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