|Mary Kjendal (from left), Mircea Dumitrescu and Lindsay Clough were a few of the parishioners from St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cotuit who organized an Easter-themed party for children at The Village at Cataumet last month.|
To someone living in shelter, a few moments of normalcy can be a gift. And once a month at the Village at Cataumet, a group of parishioners from St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cotuit, share that gift to children living in the Bourne shelter.
It comes in the form of a few hours of play.
Last month, the itinerary looked like this: decorating Easter-themed cookies followed by a visit from the Easter bunny followed by an Easter egg hunt outside. If it sounds like fun, that’s because it was.
“They do such a great job and organize such fun activities,” said Paula Mallard, facility director at the Village at Cataumet. “It is fun for the families and a nice change of pace for them.”
Over the past year, the church has been scheduling monthly activities at the shelter which are geared towards children. Last summer, they organized a cookout for the clients. And in February, each child decorated a picture frame with their picture in it which was given to their parents.
“I like interacting with the kids,” said nine-year-old Mary Kjendal from St. Michael. “It is really fun making them happy.”
As he hid Easter eggs outside, Sturgis Charter Public School sophomore Mircea Dumitrescu said he enjoys the church’s monthly visits to the Village at Cataumet because they give him an opportunity to help others.
His mother, Soraya Bandeli, said the monthly outings teach the children a key life lesson – don’t judge others.
Perhaps most importantly, she said, it allows the church to offer a brief respite for what is often a chaotic time for those in shelter. “It’s a nice atmosphere where it is just pure joy for the kids,” she said.