Childrens' Shelter Opens Playground Of Hope - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/12/03

Childrens' Shelter Opens Playground Of Hope

This time last year, the children at the Harrison County Children's shelter only had an empty lot to gaze upon and daydream about the future.

On Thursday, the door was opened on a new site filled with fun and promise.

This "playground of hope" has been the dream of shelter supervisor Ms. Bajda Daniels, who has worked with the abused and neglected children of the shelter for 35 years.

"I felt like our children need a playground. This would help them sort of get their minds off their troubles for a while, and it's just something that they needed," said Daniels.

And it appears the community felt the same.

"We went to the Board of Supervisors in March, they gave their full support of the projects, said we want to make it happen. They said go to the community and raise funds and they also commissioned an engineer to draw the playground to scale. We didn't get that back until August. So we had September, October, and November to make this happen and it's an absolute miracle," said DHS volunteer Ana Vela.

The shelter raised over $30,000 from the community alone, and the Harrison County Board of Supervisors donated more than $50,000 - all for the happiness of the nearly 700 children who need a safe shelter each year.

"We have a toddler area, we have an elementary school area, we have a multipurpose track for bike riding, roller blading, walking running," said Vela.

And no one could be happier than the dreamer herself.

"What a beautiful, wonderful site for our children. This is a dream come true," said Daniels.

The Harrison County Shelter members would like to thank the members of the community for helping to create their wonderland.

By Karla Redditte

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