Vanessa Behan is getting ready to open a new, larger facility in Spokane and the Spokane Aurora Northwest Rotary Club gifted the organization $10,000 to buy new furniture.
“One of our members brought forward this need they had at Vanessa Behan,” said club member Rob Allen. “Our funding committee agreed.”
Vanessa Behan, a nonprofit organization, provides short-term care for children whose parents are in crisis. Staff members and volunteers care for infants and young children under the age of 7.
The club purchased the furniture and helped put it together. Allen said that was a selling point for the group. “Our folks like to do things that are hands-on, things where we can do more than just money,” he said. “We’re always looking out for a big project.”
Among the items the Rotary club bought are six cribs, 15 high chairs, two kiddie cars, a kiddie slide, a toddler kitchen and a toddler book display.
Every year the Aurora Club raises money through a raffle and the Lilac Century Bike Ride in the spring. Some of the money is sent around the world to help pay for projects. “We’re always saying, what should we do locally and what should we do internationally,” Allen said.
The club usually makes one large local donation each year and Vanessa Behan is this year’s recipient, Allen said. “It’s our major gift of the year,” he said.
Club President Sandie Brown was part of the group of members who took two trips to the crisis nursery to put the furniture together. She said once they got the hang of things, everything went smoothly. “The furniture was great,” she said. “Once you figured out how to put slot A into slot C, you didn’t need any tools.”
Vanessa Behan provided a list of items needed and the club went from there, Brown said.
They also gave facility staff an extra hand while they were there. “We helped them unpack some of the other things they had, move things from room to room,” she said. “It was fun for us. It’s a nice bonding experience for our members.”
This is the first grant the club has given Vanessa Behan. Brown said a representative of the organization spoke at one of the club’s meetings to provide more information about what they do and she was surprised to learn how much need there is in Spokane for their services.
“I think it’s incredible,” she said. “It’s awesome what they do. It amazes me how many children they take in. With their new facility they’ll be able to help more people.”
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