Red Deer’s Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre is going through a final metamorphosis, with a fundraising drive started this summer to cover the cost of new furnishings.
A GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $50,000 for kitchenette appliances, play therapy equipment and toys, audio and visual relaxation devices, carpets, chairs and tables.
The children’s healing centre is being built across the parking lot from The Outreach Centre at 4101-54 Ave., which will run the facility once it opens.
The goal is to enhance the well-being of children who have lived through violence, poverty, homelessness, and suicide — as well as their families, said Darcy Ouellet, fund development officer for the outreach.
“We have been reactive and we’re trying to be more proactive,” through early prevention, he added.
When the Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre opens (in mid-September is expected), staff will use a therapeutic approach with the troubled kids, who are already in centre programs.
Ouellet said the main difference is more dedicated spaces will be available in the new facility, including one-on-one therapy rooms, group therapy spaces and a Snozelen sensory room, designed to have a soothing effect on upset or over-stimulated children.
Bubble tubes, a water wall, fibre optic lighting and other equipment will be available to calm kids down, he added.
The centre plans to collaborate with other local agencies to provide a spectrum of services and programs to traumatized children and youth. Ouellet said the idea is ensuring no child falls through the cracks.
He noted the opening of the Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre will be the fulfillment of a long-time dream of The Outreach Centre administrators. While the centre started as a women’s outreach, services expanded over the years to help an increasing number of clients, including children and men.
While all money generated from GoFundMe will go towards furnishing the Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre, Ouellet also plans to approach more community sponsors directly to help play for the $200,000-plus building costs.