Payson Community Kids, also affectionately known as Marcy’s Kids for its late founder, Marcy Rogers, is now at a new location — for the time being.
It began operating out of the fellowship hall at First Southern Baptist Church of Payson Dec. 2. Located at the northeast corner of West Bonita and South Colcord Streets, the facility will provide a warm place for the program during the construction of the new PCK building on South Tonto.
The program is providing services to 90 youngsters, ranging in age from 6 to 18.
While help is always essential, right now the most pressing need is for gifts and volunteers for the Christmas party planned for 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 at the Senior Center, 512 W. Main St., Payson.
The children in the program are from homes where the family income falls below the poverty level. The hope is to provide gifts not only for the youngsters in the program, but also for their younger siblings. Hats, gloves, coats and clothing are most welcome. This year there is also a plan to provide Christmas stockings for each of the children, so a stocking drive is underway.
To help with the gifts or to volunteer, call Suzy at (928) 978-3256, or drop stockings at the PCK center, 409 S. Tonto St. Financial donations may be mailed to Payson Community Kids, P.O. Box 1856, Payson, AZ 85547.
The goal of the PCK program is to meet all the needs of the children, including providing food, clothing, medical/dental care as needed, school supplies, plus positive reinforcement for good behavior, honesty and courage.
There is an after-school program from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. It provides a snack upon arrival and a warm meal before departure — often this is the only meal a child may have in the evening.
As part of the after-school program, participants are provided with instruction in art and music, help with homework and job skills for the older youngsters. The young people also provide community service projects such as adopting area streets to keep clean, reaching out to the elderly and assisting neighbors who may need help with projects around their homes. For instance, the day before Thanksgiving last month, the children decorated 180 cookies for the homebound seniors of Payson in the Meals on Wheels program.
Just as donations of gifts and funds are needed to keep the program operating, there is also a need for the contribution of time. Volunteers are needed on the building committee, for food preparation, organization and cleaning, plus donation distributions, tutoring, crafts and general assistance with the after-school program. Those volunteers who will work directly with children must pass an Arizona background check.
To learn more, call (928) 478-7160 or (928) 978-3256 or e-mail paysoncommunity firstname.lastname@example.org.