Local children gathered at CreativeWorks for Children in Avon last Wednesday to decorate artificial miniature Christmas trees for elderly residents of the River Ridge at Avon senior living community.
The event, run by business owner Angela Antonelli, kicked off the first CreativeWorks' "Kids Care" Program.
After gluing acorns, reindeer, candy canes, ribbons and other glittery decorations to the trees, Antonelli and the children delivered the trees to River Ridge in the main area where many of the seniors were eating dinner.
Nine kids decorated trees earlier in the day and were filmed by Better Connecticut. Farmington sisters Hannah, 7, and Addison Osborne, 2, and Avon residents Kate, 7 and Alex Schwendemann, 4, and Cassie Perezz, 7, came to the evening session with their parents to make more trees. Participants ranged from 2 to 10.
"I think it's nice for kids to see the impact they make," Antonelli said, adding that it allowed the children to see the smiles on the seniors' faces.
CreativeWorks for Children runs classes playgroups, and other programs intended to give kids "enriching experiences....through drama, music, art and creative writing," according to the website. Parents can also schedule birthday parties at the facility.
The CreativeWorks "Kids Care" Program will do future activities to help the community and local organizations like Connecticut Children's Medical Center and pet shelters.
"We've done a lot of things for various charities," Antonelli said. "I started to feel overwhelmed with the need that's out there."
The next scheduled event is Project Totes for Tots on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Participating kids will decorate reusable tote bags and stuff them with necessary baby items from diapers to wipes as donations to My Sister's Place in Hartford. The organization, established in 1982, serves as a "safe haven" for homeless mothers – many of whom have exprienced domestic violence, eviction from their homes, unemployment or mental illness – and their children, according to the My Sister's Place website.
Antonelli said that when children start volunteering at a younger age, it's more likely that they'll continue to do so when they're older.
"We're not only doing something important, we're also planting the seeds for the future," Antonelli said.
CreativeWorks for Children is located at 3 Canal Court in Avon near Town Hall. For more information, you can visit the website or Contact Antonelli at 860-677-7910 or firstname.lastname@example.org